Ronald Raymond Fournier, “Ron”, passed away peacefully with his family at his side at Massachusetts General Hospital on February 18, 2021, at the age of 63 after a period of declining health.
A native of Manchester, he was born on June 4, 1957, the son of Adrien E. & Helen M. Fournier, and spent his life in his beloved towns of Manchester, Bedford, and Laconia NH, enjoying and sharing life with his immediate and extended family.
Ron married the love of his life and high school sweetheart Cheryl (Demers) Fournier in June 1979, celebrating over 41 years of love together. He is survived by Cheryl and their children, Matthew Fournier and his wife, Stefanie, Brad Fournier, and his wife, Kaitlin; his grandchildren, who were his passion and whom he loved dearly, Miranda, Wesley, Isabella, and Olivia Fournier. He is also survived by his sisters, Francine Heizer, Diane Peterson, Phyllis Ziakas and brother, Robert Fournier, Sr; brothers-in-law, Bill Heizer, Dennis Peterson, John Ziakas and Jamie Demers; sisters-in-law, Elaine Fournier and Cindy Demers, as well as several very dearly loved nephews and nieces.
After working for local Toyota dealers, Ron opened Ron’s Toy Shop Inc. in downtown Manchester in 1991. A well-respected Manchester landmark, his dealership and service center has also carried the Car Mate, Durabull Trailers, Covered Wagon trailer franchises, among others. The auto business sparked his love of cars and drag racing. He enjoyed building drag racing cars and took great pride in his 2200 HP 1934 Ford blown alcohol top sportsman/pro-mod.
A true “Car Guy”, Ron enjoyed tinkering, restoring and reselling old cars as a hobby. He was an avid member and sponsor for the “NH ATV Club” where he did some volunteer work coordinating events and responsibilities to make their events successful. He truly enjoyed the outdoor trails and activities associated with the club, especially riding to the top of Mt. Washington.
A respected community leader, Ron shared his expertise by serving on the board of directors at the Manchester School of Technology (MST). While there, he contributed to the development of projects and learning activities that included house construction, hot rod building, student organization support, equipment procurement and scholarships.
In 1999, Ron and his breakfast buddies started the popular “Cruising Downtown” car show held annually on Saturday of Labor Day weekend, where more than 40,000 spectators came annually to view 800+ Classic, Antique and Racing cars, trucks, and motorcycles lining Elm St. in Downtown Manchester. The Cruise-In was so popular, it was featured on “My Classic Car with Dennis Gage”, Season 20, Episode 7 (Season 20 (2016) Episode 07 | My Classic Car with Dennis Gage) where Ron was interviewed by Dennis Gage. Ron was instrumental in working closely with local car clubs and auto and motorcycle enthusiasts to raise funds for greater Manchester charities, New Horizon’s, Make a Wish and other charitable organizations.
Following some health setbacks in 2011, Ron’s love of cars initiated his partnership with Manchester’s Rotary Club, which assumed the responsibilities of running “Cruising Downtown” each subsequent year. Despite his health challenges, Ron remained positive, joined the Rotary Club, and continued to contribute generously with his time, efforts, laughter, overall support to the continued success of the event and stay close to his love of cars and help support the community.
Ron loved vacationing in Venice, FL, walking the beach, and enjoying the many local restaurants. His pride and joy was the family summer cottage in Laconia, which has been in the family for more than twenty years and enjoyed by all of his family members. His children and grandchildren were his passion. His desire was for his grandchildren to “be told all the stories about the man who stayed young forever through his kindness and generosity and who lived such a full life”.
Ron was most grateful to the numerous caregivers who cared for him and the wonderful loving care given by all the healthcare professionals who have helped him over the years.
Services for Ron Fournier will be private for immediate family only due to the current COVID issues. The Fournier family is planning a Celebration of Life later this year where all are welcome.
Ron requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Manchester Rotary Club, PO Box 55, Manchester, NH 03105. All donations will be designated for nonprofit organizations that serve children in Manchester, NH.
Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, Manchester is assisting the family with arrangements.