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Living Tribute to Mary Jane Fortier
Born: September 30, 1923
Died: December 1, 2006

Mary Jane Fortier, of Conway, died Friday, December 1, 2006. She was born September 30, 1923, in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Elizabeth and Edwin Snider. She was the beloved wife, companion and best friend of Mike Fortier for 62 years, the mother of five children and ten grandchildren.

Mary Jane met her husband as an undergraduate of Purdue University before World War II. She was a brilliant student, a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and active on campus life. Mike and Mary Jane were married two years later.

In the following years as their family grew, Mike and Mary Jane made their home in a succession of cities including Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri and Indianapolis, Indiana. In each of these locations, Mary Jane displayed leadership in neighborhood, community and school-related activities, demonstrating her natural leadership qualifications by being selected as a leader of groups who meet for a purpose.

In 1975, Mike and Mary Jane moved to Conway with their two youngest children. As a newcomer to the area, Mary Jane recognized that Conway needed an organization to welcome incoming families to the area. She organized the Newcomers Club which quickly became one of the largest women's organizations in the city.

In 1981, Mike and Mary Jane established their own business in Conway. She undertook the responsibilities of secretary-treasurer, office manager, manager of the retirement fund and public relations expert. She was a major factor why Fortier Inc. is today the largest independently-owned supplier of convenience store equipment in the country, with 75 employees located throughout the United States. The company is managed by four of her children and their spouses, and employs four of her grandchildren.

Mary Jane is survived by her husband Mike, her oldest son, Michel Joseph Fortier III of Punta Gorda, Florida; Sharon Elizabeth Sexson of Tulsa; Suzanne Fortier Cunningham of Memphis, Patricia Anne Maguire and Richard David Fortier of Conway.

A visitation to celebrate her life will be held on Sunday, December 3, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Roller-McNutt Funeral Home in Conway. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Susan Komen Foundation to fight breast cancer or the Heart Association.

As her devoted husband says, "there is a new firmament imbedding in the stars. A band of angels has escorted her to the bosom of God. She has begun her journey into eternity. She is clearly marking her way and I soon shall clasp her hand."

Roller-McNutt Funeral Home, Conway ~ To sign online guestbook visit: www.rollermcnutt.com

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