Albert James “Jim” Fortier of Barefoot Bay, FL and formerly Laconia, NH passed away on May 20, 2020, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 81 years old.
Jim was born in Hanover, NH on March 4th, 1939, one of four children to the late Frederick and Emma Fortier. On September 8, 1962, he married Arlene B. Dever, his wife of 57 years.
As a young man, he began working as an auto mechanic at Kip & Joes, a Volkswagen dealership located in Holderness, NH, while also serving in the National Guard. He left Kip & Joes in 1975 to open his own business, Jim’s Auto Repair, originally at the former Tulsa station on Union Ave. He owned and operated Jim’s Auto Repair until he “hung up his wrenches” and entered retirement in 2007. He and Arlene spent several years splitting time between Laconia and Barefoot Bay before relocating permanently to their Florida home a few years ago.
Jim was a prolific volunteer in the Lakes Region. While raising his 6 children, he was active in all their sporting events; President and coach of Laconia Little League, coach of Lou Athanas Youth Basketball, and coach of Lakes Region Youth Hockey. He was also active in Kiwanis, serving two terms as President and being named Kiwanian of the Year in 1985, 1993, and 1999. He held leadership roles with the Laconia 4th of July Committee, Parents and Children Together (PACT), Key Club, Multicultural Festival, President LHS Band Boosters, LHS Athletic Booster Club, among many other community organizations. Jim was recognized for all his selfless acts of volunteerism by receiving The Debra Bieniarz Memorial Award in 1997, along with his wife Arlene, which recognized “outstanding service to children and youth in the Lakes Region who enlivened and enriched the lives of young people” and The Bob Dearborn Memorial Family/Youth Award in 2002, which was given to “the person who has given unselfishly to the families or youth of the community in the philosophy of Parents and Children Together”.
He is survived by his wife Arlene; his three sisters, Carole Myrick, Joan Royea and Diana Dufault and his sister-in-law Janet Barry; his six children, Steve Fortier (Sue) of Alstead, NH, Shelly Fortier (Janet Paro) of Fort Pierce, FL, Jeanette Chasse (Dennis) of Mont Vernon, NH, Rick Fortier (Doreen) of Franklin, NH, Lisa Byars (Wes) of Gilford, NH, and Suzy Fortier (Jason Bryant) of Laconia, NH. ; 10 grandchildren – Sean and Laryssa Fortier, Randi, Jordyn and Colton Byars, Troya and Tevin Fortier, Breana, Brandon and Brycen Martin – 7 great grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Jim will always be remembered for his quick wit and great sense of humor. He loved to share laughs with family and friends – always with a “joke of the day”. He enjoyed his retirement days as an avid Nascar fan, playing golf, playing card games, and riding his golf cart to the pond to feed the turtles. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Thank you to Sebastian River Medical Center’s 2nd floor nurses and the staff at William Child’s Hospice House for making his final days comfortable.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 7312, Gilford, NH 03247 in memory of Kiwanian, Jim Fortier.
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