March 23, 1937 - October 1, 2012
John L. Fournier Jr., entered into rest on October 1, 2012, probably for the first time in his life.
The esteemed publisher of The Prosser Record-Bulletin and Grandview Herald as
well as former publisher of many weekly and three daily newspapers including the North Central Washington and Central Oregon Nickel Ads, the Valley Daily News in Kent passed away in hospice near his home of Freeland, Whidbey Island, WA after a five month battle with cancer. He was 75.
He will be remembered by his wife, Chris; children, Suzette Nordstrom (Bill) of Spokane, WA, John L. III (Lucinda) of Bend, OR, Danielle of Freeland, WA and Matthew of Sacramento, CA; as a man of vision, humor and fortitude. He was as committed to his communities as he was to his family. He is survived by his stepmother, Jean Morgan (Jimmy) of Swainsboro, GA; sister, Gail Dallas of Redmond, WA; and brother, Charles (Gay) of Saint Simons Island, GA. He is survived by eight nieces and nephews.
Fournier was a loving father who taught his children to revere the outdoors, respect other peoples opinions, and foster good will wherever they went. He infused every situation with his sense of humor and ability to tell a great story- anytime, anywhere.
Fournier remarried the love of his life, Christine, in 2005, after which they devoted their time of the semi-retired life of reveling in their grandchildren, Angela, Emily, TJ and Chas, while catching up on their years spent apart. The two had remained friends throughout the years as they raised their children and kept partnerships in several national champion snaffle bit horses.
As publisher, Fournier was proud to serve his birthplace of Kent, by bringing Medic One to Valley General Hospital, as a member of Kiwanis, the City Council and its committees, and the Chamber of Commerce. On the state level, he had a lifelong commitment to the Washington State Newspaper Association, as a trustee, past president and active member from whom he received the Miles Turnbull Master Editor/ Publisher lifetime achieve- ment award. He was also a member of the National Newspaper and Suburban Newspaper Associations of America.
He developed his love of hot air ballooning when he became a yearly sponsor of the Prosser Hot Air Balloon Rally upon purchasing the paper there in 1986. He dedicated over fifty years of his life to the newspaper business.
Born March 23, 1937, in Kent, WA, he felt a lifelong attachment to his birthplace. His early life as a Boy Scout, a Kent Meridian High School varsity football player, and a member of the United States Marine Corps influenced Fourniers lifelong interest in the outdoors, sports and civic responsibilities. He loved to fish, possessed a mean roll cast, and spent his life on or near the water. He shared fond memories of pheasant and duck hunting in the Green River Valley and across the plains of the Palouse often.
While attending University of Washington as a Sigma Phi Epsilon brother, he enjoyed his summers as a lifeguard on Lake Washington. Until his death, he would look up to identify any aircraft by wing shape and sound, recounting his many miles across the sky. He will be missed.