Cover photo for Ronald Fortier's Obituary
Ronald Fortier Profile Photo
1938 Ronald 2023

Ronald Fortier

September 7, 1938 — March 21, 2023

The mass will be available via livestream at 


Ronald Thomas Fortier, 84, of Grand Forks, ND passed away on March 21, 2023 at his home in Grand Forks with family by his side.  Ron was born on September 7, 1938 in Crookston, MN the son of Thomas and Doria Fortier.

Ron met his wife Janice through Janice’s sister Carolyn and brother-in-law Larry.  They married on August 9, 1962 in Brooks, MN. Shortly after being married, they moved to Seattle, WA. After two years they moved to Grand Forks, welcoming their four children, Neil, Janelle, Connie and Paul. Grand Forks was their home until 1995 when they moved to their lake home that Ron had built on Potato Lake (Park Rapids), MN and then to another home that Ron built closer to Park Rapids in 2005.  In 2009 they moved back to Grand Forks.

Ron was a carpenter his entire life, initially working for general contractors and then owning his own general contracting business in Grand Forks.  Ron was well known throughout the community for his superior quality workmanship and had a reputation for building the highest quality homes. Ron also built 13 homes for his own family throughout Grand Forks.  Truth be told, the Fortier family lived in one home, Ron purchased the corner lot right next door, built a new home and moved across the lawn. 

Ron was a meticulous craftsman, and a job was not complete unless it was absolutely perfect.  You could see this in all his work and was even more evident in all the crafts, especially the bowls that he turned on his lathe, that he made throughout the years.

Ron is survived by his three children Neil (Dianne) Fortier of Albany, MN; Connie (Scott) Palmiscno of Chandler, AZ and Paul (Amie) Fortier of Bottineau, ND and nine grandchildren: Tina Bakeberg (Chris Johnson), John (Ashley) Kelly, Bryan Kelly (Brittany Virnig), Jeremy (Kristin) Palmiscno, Jacob Palmiscno, Paige Fortier, Carter Fortier, Alisha Hartmann, Brandon Hartmann. Ron also has twelve  great grandchildren: MacKenzie, Jaxon, Taryn, Layne, Carter, Aubrey, Lucas, Connor, Landon, Zoey, Stella and Adalynn and one great grandchild, Jayce.  Ron is also survived by his brother Leroy Fortier of Crookston, MN and sister Rose Moran of Moorhead, MN. Ron is also survived by his loyal companion, Cooper.

Ron was preceded in death by his wife Janice, his parents, his daughter Janelle; and sister Elaine.

Mass of Christian Burial:  will be 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 27, 2023 in Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks.  Visitation will be for one hour prior to the mass in the church.  Interment will be later in the spring in Calvary South Cemetery, Grand Forks.  Memorials are preferred to Circle of Friends Humane Society, 4375 N. Washington St., Grand Forks, ND  58203,  Hospice of the Red River Valley, 2860 10th Ave N #400, Grand Forks, ND 58203 or Holy Family Catholic Church, 1018 18th Ave South, Grand Forks, ND  58201.

To order memorial trees in memory of Ronald Fortier, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Mass of Christian Burial

Monday, March 27, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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