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Friday
Mar112011

Madonna's 99-Year-Old Grandmother Passes Away

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage(BAY CITY, Mich.) -- Madonna's maternal grandmother Elsie Mae Fortin has passed away, just three months shy of her 100th birthday.  WNEM-TV reports that Ms. Fortin died Wednesday at her home in Bay City, Michigan, surrounded by family and friends.  It's not known if Madonna plans to return to her home state of Michigan for the funeral, which will be held this Saturday. 

In a statement to the Bay City Times, Madonna's publicist said that the star wouldn't be "issuing any statements or conversing with the media regarding her grandmother," adding, "It is a totally personal matter to her."

WNEM reports that Madonna has traveled back to Bay City several times to see her grandmother, who helped to raise her after her mother passed away when the future superstar was a child. 

Ms. Fortin is survived by four of her eight children, as well as 36 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

The Bay City Times reports that Madonna's father, Silvio "Tony" Ciccone, remembered Fortin as "very friendly, loving and caring," adding, "She had a big family to take care of and she did a great job of it."  Ciccone said his daughter Paula, Madonna's sister, was among the family present when Fortin passed away, but added that he had not yet spoken with Madonna about the death.

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ABC News Radio