R. Jarvis Fortier Sr. was a longtime fixture among Acadiana’s automotive community, spending 69 years with Hub City Ford, where he made a name for himself with catchy advertising and by helping make the dealership one of the most successful in the region.
According to his obituary, Fortier was a New Orleans native who arrived in Lafayette after serving with the U.S. Navy during WWII. He attended UL Lafayette — then USL — on a football scholarship, while also working as a radio disc jockey for KSIG in Crowley. In 1945, he joined Hub City Ford, eventually becoming a co-owner, co-dealer and chairman of the dealership’s board. During his 69 years with the company, Fortier helped bring Hub City Ford among the top 60 Ford dealerships — out of 3,100 — for sales in the country, as well as the number one selling dealership within a five state area.
Fortier also had a knack for advertising, handling all of the dealership’s ads for most of his career, using such tag lines as “sales ends Monday night!”
Outside of his work life, Fortier spent his time breeding race horses. He belonged to the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, and was also a founding member of both the Faith House of Lafayette and the Lafayette Juvenile Youth Association.
Fortier’s funeral will be held today (Wednesday) at 1 p.m. in Downtown Lafayette at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be sent to the Faith House of Lafayette at 1453 W. Willow St., Lafayette LA 70506.