-William L. Fortin, 85, died at his home in Plymouth, Indiana at 4:10 am on Thursday, May 16, 2024, after a rewarding life including 30 years with Parkinson’s Disease.  William was born as the second of the five sons of Levern C. and Agnes B. (Doody) Fortin in Whiting, Indiana.  He graduated from Whiting High School, Saint Joseph College, and Loyola Law School.  William put himself through college working at Amaizo and through law school working as a mailman in Whiting. 

William’s foot route as a mailman led him to meet a fit young woman in a bathing suit washing her car.  That woman was nursing student Marilyn Bryerton.  William spent his high school and college years purposefully searching for the perfect wife.  With this meeting that search was successfully completed. William and Marilyn married on June 13, 1964, at Sacred Heart Church in Whiting.

After welcoming their first child, Christine (Dave) Morrow, the family moved to Indianapolis where William worked as Deputy Attorney General.  While living in Indianapolis they added children David Fortin and Susan Fortin to the family.  After prominent Plymouth Attorney George F. Stevens suffered a courtroom loss to William, Mr. Stevens offered William a job, luring him to Plymouth, where William and Marilyn added Patty (Shawn) Grobe to the family.   Through William’s lifelong effort and encouragement, all of William and Marilyn’s children remained in Plymouth to raise their families and so were present for his passing.

William had a remarkable and fulfilling career as an attorney in private practice in Plymouth that spanned 45 years.  William enjoyed his time serving as attorney for the City of Plymouth, taking particular pride in the expansion of Centennial Park and the construction of the public library.  William received many awards for his service as an attorney and volunteer work, achieving AV Preeminent peer-reviewed highest ranking for legal ability and ethical standards, Knights of Columbus Knight of the Year, Whiting High School Buckley Wall of Fame inductee, and being recognized by the Rural Electric bar association for his service.  In 1991, William was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness, where he served for 25 years.

William was a selfless and prolific volunteer and community contributor.  He served on boards for the Plymouth Public Library, PIDCO, Saint Michael Church Parish Finance Council, served his church as lector and usher, served as trustee and chaired the College Annual Fund at Ancilla College where he also taught business law for 23 years, served on the Marshall County Housing Authority, coached baseball, served as Master of Ceremonies for the Junior Miss Scholarship Pageant, lectured at continuing legal education seminars, organized celebrations and family bus trips for the Plymouth Jaycees where he was awarded Young Man of the Year, organized class reunions, and was always happy to provide a prayerful invocation for whatever meeting required such.

William treasured experience, embraced beneficial adventures, and revered civility. In the summer of 1960, after driving a convertible with his lifelong friend, Arden Geist, from Whiting to Los Angeles, William’s journals show he made it a purpose to share the immeasurable benefits of travel, adventure, and fellowship. William particularly valued the bliss of a still-flourishing 70-year friendship and gently promoted his philosophies in entertaining pithy vignettes of humble wisdom, typically printed on paper and held by a magnet to the refrigerators of those he loved.  When queried for advice, “Read the refrigerator.” was his most common starting refrain.

William’s was a life well lived as orchestrated by his ever-generous, gently offered, and never-imposed plans.  He made the world for many a significantly changed and better place.  He is forever a brilliant Catholic gentleman who deserves the peaceful contentment expressed by his resting mortal face.

William is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marilyn, his children Chris (Dave) Morrow, David Fortin, Brenda Fortin, Susan Fortin, and Patty (Shawn) Grobe, his brothers Edwin Fortin, Charles Fortin, and Thomas Fortin, his grandchildren, Claire Morrow (Blake Williams), Katie (Lyle) Peacock, and Maggie (Ryan) McNeil, Gracie (Blake) Sutherland, William Fortin Espich, Ian Fortin Espich, Toren Fortin, Allison Grobe, Evan Grobe, and Grant Grobe, and great-grandchildren Carson Peacock, Leo Peacock, Jay McNeil, Reagan McNeil, and Liam Sutherland.  William was predeceased by his brother Timothy (Mary Ann) Fortin, and his parents Levern C. and Agnes B. Fortin.

Visitation will be held on Monday, May 20, 2024, from 4-7 pm at Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth, IN 46563. Rosary will be recited at 6:30 pm.

Mass of a Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at 11:00 am at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 612 North Center Street, Plymouth, IN 46563 with Fr. Keeton Lockwood officiating. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the start of Mass at 10:00 am.

Burial will take place in the New Oak Hill Cemetery, Plymouth.

Memorial contributions may be given to St. Michael’s Catholic School, 612 N Center St. Plymouth, IN 46563, The Woman’s Care Center, 224 N. Michigan St. Plymouth, IN 46563 or to the Plymouth Knights of Columbus #1975, 901 E. Jefferson St. Plymouth, IN 46563.

Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. Condolences can be left for the family on the website: www.johnson-danielson.com