A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 in the Sunrise Chapel at Walters Funeral Home for Eleanor "Belle" Lafleur Fortier, 93, who passed away June 20, 2018 at her residence in Carencro. Father Gary Schexnayder will be the Celebrant of the funeral Mass and will conduct the funeral services. Jodi Bollich, organist and soloist, will perform "Amazing Grace", "My Shepherd Is The Lord", "Ave Maria", "Panis Angelicus", and J'irai La Voir Un Jour". Entombment will follow the mass in St. John Cemetery.
Visitation hours will be held on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 from 3:00 - 8:00 pm, and resume Wednesday morning from 8:00 am until time of service.
Survivors include her one daughter, Pam Fortier and her two children, Sarah Golz and Ben Parker; three sons, Richard Fortier Jr. and his wife, the former Candice Moreland, and their daughter Ashlyn Lanore Fortier; Tommy Fortier and his two children, Macie Zoble and Danny Fortier; and Billy Fortier and his wife, the former Portia Jester and their daughter Nathalie Fortier; three sisters, Alice Elaine "Lynn" Dupont, Mary Jane Dupre, and Haidee Dupre Floyed; one brother, Jesse Neal LaFleur; and seven great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband R. Jarvis Fortier Sr.; parents, Victor and Cora Lee Lafleur; five brothers, Melvin "Mel", John "T-Jean", Ken, Leo Paul, and Duffy Neal James Lafleur; and four sisters, Mary "Eunice" Guillory, Laura Jane Bloxham, Sally Dupre Soileau, and Elizabeth Emily "Tiny" Dupre.
Belle grew up in Washington, LA and later moved with her family to Iowa, LA. While the family endured many hardships, Belle went to live with her grandmother, Cora Norman Soileau, known as Mamere. Cora spoke very little English, and taught Belle Cajun French. Around her pre-teen years, Belle was taken in by Dr. Robert Emery Dupre and Hazel Ardoin Dupre of Ville Platte, LA, where she was raised with their daughters as one of their own. She attended Sacred Heart High School in Ville Platte and continued on to Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). She graduated in 1951 with her Bachelor's of Arts degree in education. Belle was very fond of her foster family and they had a profound effect in shaping the beautiful lady that she was.
Belle taught first through third grade in the Lafayette Parish school system full time, and later served as a substitute teacher. She loved teaching young children.
While walking across the SLI campus one day sporting some flashy red boots, she caught the eye of Richard Jarvis Fortier. Jarvis and Belle were married on November 22, 1947. Her husband, Jarvis, was one of the owners of Hub City Ford of Lafayette since its founding in 1943 by his father Brown A. Fortier. They had five children, Mary Eleanor (who passed away during childbirth), Richard, Tommy, Billy, and Pam. Over the years the family lived in Lafayette and Youngsville, before settling in Carencro where they lived until their passing. Jarvis, the love of her life, passed away on July 12, 2014.
Belle loved beautiful things, especially the home she and Jarvis designed. They spent many years over coffee in the morning planning out every detail of the home incorporating aspects of various plantation homes across the state.
When Belle was able, she loved walking in the back pasture, petting the horses, laying on a blanket in the yard in the sun, walking around her bountiful gardens pruning her many flowers, or eating figs right from the branch. He life had revolved around her husband, children, and grandchildren. She loved family dropping in for a visit. If it was someone she had not seen in a long time or one of the grandchildren, she would just light up and was so happy to see them. She loved going for Sunday drives with Jarvis and her granddaughter, Sarah, and especially enjoyed riding in her Mustang Convertible with the top down.
Even though she was ill the last four years of her life, she never lost her sense of style. In her younger days Belle loved attending parties and public functions where she was the "Belle of the Ball." She continued to adore shopping for the latest styles and watching the fashion shows of the top designers. Although she appreciated the finer things in life, she was very humble and had an infectious smile for everyone she met. She had a huge heart and easily and quickly won people over with her compassionate nature. She radiated warmth. Even when she could no longer speak, she still left people feeling loved.
Belle was always kind and gracious to all her devoted caregivers, but was quick to correct them when they used improper English, as she was always a teacher.
We are all better for knowing this beautiful lady, Belle Fortier.
Pallbearers will be Danny Fortier, Ben Parker, Damon Zoble, Wayne Dugas, Brooks Citron, and Scott Citron.
Walters Funeral Home, 2424 N. University Ave., Lafayette, LA 70507; 337.706.8941 is in charge of arrangements.