Doug Fortier was born November 22, 1946 in Manchester, New Hampshire and became stardust on April 29, 2022. He was the eldest of four children. The family moved to Ridgeville Corners, Ohio when he was seven years old. When he graduated from high school at seventeen years old he enlisted in the Air Force and served for four years. He moved out to the West Coast in 1968 after leaving the Air Force and worked at Bank of America in the computer department which started him on his career in information systems. Doug met his wife Claire in 1980 and they married in 1982. In 1990, Claire and Doug moved to Ukiah, where he worked as the MIS manager for Retech, a manufacturing company. They retired early and moved to Fort Bragg in 2004. Claire and Doug had a wonderful forty-two years together.
On April 15, 2004, Doug had open heart surgery, the event that catalyzed his passion for writing. After he recovered, Doug went to the Senior Center and took writing classes from Charlotte Gullick, joined a writing group, and was instrumental in launching and growing the Writers of the Mendocino Coast.
At the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, Doug filled many roles: participant, donor, host, graphic designer. He was a beloved presence who welcomed and embraced everyone in our handmade conference community. He had a great enthusiasm, curiosity, and kindness that made MCWC uniquely friendly to newcomers. He was a patron and supporter of many writers and artists. His generosity and openness helped create and sustain MCWC’s commitment to friendship, expertise, and encouragement.
Doug encouraged new writers and helped many people self-publish their manuscripts. He enjoyed his time making that happen. When asked what he wanted his legacy to be he simply said “I’d like to be remembered as a person who helped.”
(adapted from a remembrance shared by Claire Fortier)