Ernest V. Fortin
1929 - 2017
SARASOTA, Fla. - Ernest V. Fortin of Sarasota, Fla., formerly of Dover, Mass., passed away peacefully with family on March 8, 2017, after a long, courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease. Beloved husband of Patricia (Smith) Fortin; father of Michael Fortin of Gilford, NH and his wife, Karen, and Bruce Fortin of Westwood, Mass. and Jean Miller and her husband Richard of Merrimack, NH; loving grandfather to John Miller of Naples, Fla. and Adam Miller of Nashua, NH. He is predeceased by his first wife, Beverly (Hunt) Fortin who passed away in 1988, two brothers, Joseph and Roland, and a sister, Alberta. He is survived by a brother, Raymond of Madison; and many nieces and nephews.
Ernie (who was nicknamed "Chap" at a very young age) was born in Madison on Valentine's Day, 1929, the son of Joseph and Eva (Dionne) Fortin. After graduating from Madison High School in 1947, he attended Colby College and graduated in 1951. Being a native of Madison was a source of great pride for Ernie, who frequently throughout his life, returned to his home town to see loved ones and friends. During many of his retirement years, he summered in Madison and nearby towns.
In 1951, he began his career with New England Telephone/NYNEX/ Bell Atlantic. During most of his 41 years with the company, he was the Division Manager of Operator Services where he had regional responsibility for the many operators throughout New England who helped customers' complete calls and obtain 411 services. Much can be said of his career and love of the job but it can be best summed up in his own words from a talk he gave in 2001 to his Colby College classmates: "My career was challenging, competitive, rewarding and as I've often said, I could count on my fingers the number of days I was reluctant to go to work in 41 years. Wonderful career." Prior to retirement in 1992, he also served as regional Vice President of the Telephone Pioneers of America, one of the largest corporate-sponsored charitable organizations in the world.
An avid golfer, Ernie was a long time member of the Norfolk Golf Club of Westwood, Mass. serving as president in 1980. He was also a member of the Meadows Country Club in Sarasota, Fla.
Ernie and his first wife Beverly fell in love with Siesta Key, Fla. and Sarasota many years ago. He retired there in 1992 where he met the second love of his life, Patti. The years that followed were filled with travel, family visits, and (of course) golf. Even in retirement, he was a "doer" and volunteered his time to serve as President of the Meadows Community Association of Sarasota where he lived.
Ernie was forever grateful for the opportunity to attend Colby College and frequently said it was Colby that gave him and his family the opportunity for a good life. In retirement, he served as class agent, served on the Alumni Council, created a scholarship fund for deserving Colby students from Madison and through his leadership as Annual Gift Chairman, spurred his class of '51 to achieve a 94% participation record in 2001.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Jude Catholic Church, 3930 17th St, Sarasota, Fla. on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. Family and friends are invited. Interment will be at St. Sebastian's in Madison, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to;
5955 Rand Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34238
Published in Central Maine on Mar. 12, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
Palms - Robarts Funeral Home & Memorial Park
170 Honore Ave | Sarasota, FL 34232 | (941) 371-4962