Where Are You, Roger and Rose Fortier?

I had come across a few old photographs on my computer, they had been saved from a London Drugs disc that I had purchased at the same time as I had sent away a stack of old negatives I had found in a huge random box of loose photographs, at Mom and Dad’s. I had placed the photographs in six different photograph albums, in order to return the originals to my brothers and sister and made an album for Dad.  I’ve worked consistently, since we lost Mom, in 2013, to create photo books for my siblings so that we will all be able to share in the same remembrances.  Parallel to this, I’ve continued to do extensive family history so that I can leave that research to my children one day.  As a result, I’ve been able to connect with cousins, second cousins, second cousins once removed right across Canada.  Since this research has been falling into place, I’ve begun the process of researching the paternal side of my children.  For this, I am also grateful to their relations.  It’s been a wonderful hobby.

It was through this very process that I was introduced to the Fortier family, through Dad’s remembrances.  Old black and white photographs such as these run the risk of being tossed into the world of unknown characters and unknown places.  I am so grateful that I sent Dad a single copy of one of these and that he returned an e mail filled with emotion.  Below, the Fortiers with Dad and on their own.  Dad said that they would often all hitch a ride in Monsieur Fortier’s car and drive up the mountain to a beautiful view of the city of Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Dad with his special family in Sherbrooke, QuebecMom and Dad's special family in Sherbrooke, Quebec

Once you save things to your computer, sometimes they get lost in the shuffle, so to speak.  This was one of those photographs.  My mother is standing on the far left behind the young girl wearing the blowing scarf.  I wanted to know who these people were.

For Dad and Paul Mom Sherbrooke

Over Skype, my father wondered if it could possibly be the family that he was very close to, while living in Sherbrooke.  He described the memory of them and so I told him I’d send him the photograph.  This is the enthusiastic response he shared with me by e mail.

It is all my second family, Roger and Rose Fortier and their whole family of
three wonderful young girls. I only remember the name of the eldest
Colette,and for the life of me I cannot remember the rest (Very French
names) .One fond memory though was years later on a TD trip to Montreal
I drove to Sherbrooke and found them still in the old house. Colette was
almost finished becoming a Nun and her middle sister was in the
beginning  stages so I did not see them as they were in a convent.. None
of them spoke English except Rose and by the time Mom & I married the
girls and Roger could all get along and I learned a lot of French. They
had 2 school teachers boarding there as well very French so we had
French Mon ,Wed and Fri and English Tues Thurs. and Sat. then either
language at the table and in the house on Sunday. Roger was retired by
then and you have never seen tears flow and a group hug like there was
that day.How I love them. Note the car as the whole family went for the
drive that Sunday when they took the pic of me and Mom.
Thank you so much for this picture Kathy I will treasure it forever.
Love ya Dad

I had a tricky time finding Rose and have yet to find Roger.  I have made an attempt to connect with two of the daughters, but they have not yet responded.  I would really enjoy sending them a copy of this photograph.  It looks like Roger may have passed away shortly after retirement and Rose remarried.  I found this obituary because of Dad’s remembrance of the daughters’ names.  Rose was 94 years old when she passed.  I am grateful for such beautiful friends who embraced and cared for Mom and Dad, especially Dad, when he was so far away from his own family in the west.  Daughters; Lise, Colette and Huguette, I would love to send you copies of this old black and white photograph!

May Roger and Rose rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon them.

Rose Fortier

My own Mom and Dad on that same day…Dad remembers driving up with the family, to a spot that overlooks the city of Sherbrooke.  The car belonged to the Fortiers.

Mom and Dad and cool car from old negative

At the time, a buddy in the service with Dad, let him know that the Fortier family had a room for a boarder.  Dad lived with the family, at 1124 King Road Ouest.  This is what the place looks like today.  Dad said that he stayed in the room on the top floor left. He said the large windows at the bottom weren’t there, but there was a small living/dining room window.  The entrance was on the left/back, where you see the river and led directly into the kitchen.

1124 Rue King Ouest, Sherbrooke

The Fortiers are found at this address on many Voter’s lists through the 60s.  Dad remembers Roger traveling to a nearby town to work in pulp and paper, and he is listed as a ‘machiniste’ on most lists.

Roger Fortier Rue King

King Street Sherbrooke

1124 Rue King Ouest, Sherbrooke Map

Dad’s walk to work…

“Sure do know how I walked to work—Straight down King St. Over a
bridge, past Bell telephone bldg. where Mom worked. Down King hill about
the same distance and height as the North Bay hill to the base then
about three more blocks to Station St. right turn 2 or 3 blocks to the
2450 Reserve Squadron Bldg. A good 2/12 to 3 miles from the house then
back up that bloody hill to go home. If I walked Mom home to Deneault
St then we went up the hill, turned left at the bridge and walked at
least 3 miles to their house. Then I had to walk back to my place–Good
Lord! No wonder, I was in such good shape. ha ha ha. What good memories.
You need to remember I only got $35.00 every two weeks.,and was sending
home a $25.00 Canada Savings  bond to Mom.
Love ya     Dad”