Greeting Loyal Airmen, last week we shared the sad news of our mother’s passing. One of the duties asked of me by my siblings was to write Mom’s obituary. You will find it below.
GABRIELLE MARIE FORTIER
Born Nov 1s, 1924 to Donat and Dorilla Richer of Sanford, Me. The second oldest of ten children, she attended St. Ignatius grade school and excelled. She always loved learning new things. She was unable to go to high school because she was needed to help the family during this period known as the Great Depression. It was a regret she would never forget.
In 1942, while at a local dance, she met George Fortier of Somersworth and they began dating. While he was 25 at the time and she only 17, it was most likely their courtship would have been short-lived had not World War II begun and George was drafted. During the next three years they would write to each other often and would eventually fall in love through their letters. By his last year in the South Pacific, they were writing to each other every single day. Upon his return to civilian in Nov. of 1945, they became engaged and were married the next month, Dec. 1th, at St. Ignatius Church.
The story of their romance was chronicled in the play, “Where Love Takes You,” written by their oldest son, Ron Fortier and premiered at the Sanford Stage Company in Aug. of 2011. George and Gaby would have four children. After Ron there was George Jr, followed by Paul and then Ann Marie. They had thirty years together before George passed away, Aug 24th, 1975. After his death, Gaby found interest in traveling and along with her dear friend and neighbor, Mrs. Julie Daigle, traveled to such countries as Peru, Spain, Guatemala and Columbia.
Never having lost her passion for learning, Gaby made it a goal, which she achieved, of reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in its entirety. So devoted was she to education that she inspired her children and all four went on to graduate from college. As a young girl, she had discovered she had a talent for drawing. Then somewhere in her 60s this love art resurfaced and she taught herself how to paint. For the rest of her life, she would never be without an easel and paints. Many of her paintings were sold to friends and relatives and today can be found in the offices of local professionals such as dentists and lawyers.
In 1979 she met Ludwig Goscinski, a retired divorcee with five children. Ski, as he was lovingly known, loved to dance and on their first meeting he swept Gaby off her feet. Gaby came to love his children and they returned that affection. She and Ski would go on to share life’s adventures together for the next thirty-two years, until his passing in 2011.
She is survived by two sisters, Hortense Tanguay and Rose Goodrich and one brother, Henry Richer. She leaves behind a legacy of four children and their partners, nine grand children, Scott, Kevin, Heather, Michelle, Alan, Justin, Emily, Jason and Mathew, and eight great grandchildren, Kristie, Chelsea, Taryn, Logan, Kylie, Brenna, Colbie and Chase.
The family would like to thank the dedicated staff at the Wentworth Home for their compassion and exceptional care. A private gravesite service will be held at a later time.
As we shared this news of her passing over on Facebook, so many of our friends there sent condolences over the past week. So many, it was truly heartwarming, and many, both family and dear friends, sent beautiful sympathy cards, an old tradition we don’t see much any more. Those cards were particularly touching to us and we will be forever grateful for them. Our daughter Heather sent along the plants you see pictured above. They are indoor plants and there were four of them who will, when the time is right, each be replanted in a separate pot and then placed around the house. Caring for them and watching them grow daily will be a beautiful reminder of Mom and the love she shared with all of us.
Finally we want to close out this week’s entry on a wonderful piece of news. One of our oldest friends in the New Pulp community, is Tommy Hancock, a talented writer, editor and publisher. Shortly after working with us at Airship 27, Tommy went a built his own publishing house, Pro Se Productions and in the past decade has published so many great pulp novels and anthologies that have help make New Pulp as vibrant as it is today. Sure, we’re competitors, but we’re also buddies and the Air Chief is proud to have minute quite a few stories for Pro Se in the past and am still doing so today. Okay, where we? Last week Tommy queried the Air Chief wanting to know if we’d be interested in publishing a new series for him starring a rather unique private eye, P.D. STREET – Private Detective of the Forgotten. The concept was so original, we jumped on it immediately. Then, based on Tommy’s own idea for the look of this new character, we had Rob Davis do up a quick sketch and promotional logo which he of course did a truly magnificent job on. The above and an accompanying Press Release went out all over the internet two days ago. It’s Tommy’s hope to have the first PD Street book out by the end of the year and Airship 27 is so proud to bringing it to you Loyal Airmen. More news as things developed. Stay tuned.
Ron – Over & Out!