June 16, 2016

A Tribute to Fran Fortier

Fran Fortier passed from this life on June 9, 2016

Fran Fortier lived her Catholic faith as a wife, mother and a defender of unborn babies.  Fran was the former Director of the Joliet Diocese Life Office.  I first met Fran in the early 1980's when we both served on the Board of the Illinois Federation for Right to Life.  I represented the 10th Congressional District and Fran represented the 6th Congressional District.  There wasn't a politician Fran did not know personally.  Through her strong pro-life commitment, everyone she met knew about the sanctity of human life and our obligation to defend that life in the public square.

It was shortly after my meeting Fran that I discovered that she was the Director for pro-life in Joliet.  In fact, if the truth be known, Fran laid the groundwork for the ministry to continue even after she retired from her office.  Fran's Catholic faith led her to stand tall in the public square when the Roe v Wade Decision in 1973 legalized abortion on demand in the U.S.  Fran did what all Catholics (and people of good faith) should have done.  She rolled up her sleeves and went to work to restore respect for innocent human life.  She never tired, and I know that many times she was in the office until 1AM or 2AM in the morning.  These hours led to her son, Dr. Martin Fortier, to insist that Fran drive her Lexus that he bought so she would be safe.

Fran Fortier died as she lived faithful to the pro-life movement, her Catholic faith and her family.   It was God's gift to me to know and work with Fran.  I am humbled by her consistency and strong devotion to life and family.

by Bonnie Quirke