On Monday, June 8th 2020, Barry Leonard Fortier exited this world to seek peace and rest elsewhere. With him goes an enormous quantity of love, laughter, brilliance and an amount of unequaled humility not often known by most.
Barry showed up to Mary “Doris” on August 21, 1944………now, let’s try and understand the context for that arrival; Americans land in Normandy—Roosevelt signs the GI Bill of Rights, Sartre’s “No Exit” and Tennessee Williams “Glass Menagerie” get produced, Picasso paints “Seated Women in Blue” and…. A-N-D…. Alfred Hitchcock directs “Lifeboat” (Barry, stop crying, geeeeeez , stop the Drama Queen crap!!)
With that as a backdrop, Barry went on to be a paternalistic “big-brother” to his 11-month younger sister Elaine---defending and protecting her in times of strife and struggles during their meager and difficult home life. Mom provided as best as she was able and imparted values in her 4 children (add in Ann and Charlene) that became the cornerstones of her children’s morality and ethics; the best life Mom could provide.
Barry very intelligently enlisted in the Army in 1962. After servicing the Med Unit for 3 years and receiving a medal for his “Marksmanship” acuity with the M-14 Rifle, he was given an Honorable Discharge and returned to New Bedford---original stomping ground! He continued as a Reservist until 1968.
Soon afterwards, he met Louise, married her and then fathered (I won’t say delivered----poor Louise had all of that work!!) 3 amazingly beautiful (inside and out) daughters: Stacy, Loel and Leigh. As he leaves us, they, account for 8 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren----wow Barry, look what you started!!
His life, as he moved on, continued to be one of service: he played in every sandbox available in the nursing world; that is to say….nursing practical, nursing administration, nursing management and finally nursing education. The latter, probably one of his strongest and most significant contributions over his 30+ some years in that vocation.
In putting together this obituary a certain amount of “unravelling” needed to take place, and trust me, it did! To speak to his other years, he had significant relationships with individuals that he, (and, dare I say, not so easily), let into his personal “bubble” ----Billy, Carol, David, Annette, Jay, Charlie, Kerri, & a huge love for his sister-in-law Ellen. Can’t be talking about Barry without giving him credit for his nurturing love for all things Bassett hound; let’s see, there was Farfel, and then Farfel, again, followed by Benson and lastly Fred---And finally there’s my husband Paul and me. I guess I share the longest uninterrupted friendship with Barry overall----40+++ years (I have lost count).
I believe that the power of an Obituary lies in its ability to share the “voice” of the departed. Barry, never stuffy (Imagine Barry ever trying to be ‘stuffy’? - oh God, there’s another laugh!), always candid, wearing his sentiment on his sleeve, caring and of enormous service to all, lived life without an ‘edit’ button. He was, in the most genuine sense, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) but would always want to know “Hey, what else can I do for you”? Hey Barry, another funny story, perhaps?
Well, I think we will all find out in time as I am convinced that Barry’s legacy is not static, not dead, not departed but very much alive and a part of us all………………Peace--Love!!
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barry L. Fortier, please visit our floral store.