In Memorium: Marcel Fortney 1957 - 2007

Life can be pretty hectic at times, especially when you're getting ready to travel to a convention or trade show. For the last several weeks we didn't stop and take the time to "smell the roses", let alone pay attention to what was going on in the rest of the world.

Three years ago we had the pleasure of being introduced to Marcel Fortney by our good friend Doug Meyer. At the time Marcel was working as the US representative for AGV helmets. That weekend we came back and Marcel took the time (which was at a premium) to speak at length with us, and especially with PK. When we saw him the next year he remembered us and again we enjoyed his company. A few weeks ago I left him a message telling him how much we looked forward to visiting with him again. He never returned my call. We thought nothing of it... we were positive he was simply too busy to get back to us before the show.

Marcel Fortney passed away Monday, January 15, 2007 in his home from a fatal heart attack. We didn't find out until we walked up to his booth to pay him a visit. We just wanted to let everyone know that we enjoyed and appreciated all the time Marcel spent with us, and that we're happy to have known him. Since I'm terrible at writing obituaries, I'm going to reprint the one that was run in the local paper, and ask that people visit his online memorial....

You can visit the memorial by clicking here...

Templeton CA, January 18, 2007 - Local resident Marcel Fortney suffered a fatal heart attack at his Templeton ranch on Monday, January 15th.

Fortney, 49, had spent nearly 30 years working in the motorcycle industry, beginning with his first job at Cycle Guide magazine. He was most recently the U.S. agent for AGV, a prominent Italian helmet maker. He also owned and operated several San Francisco Bay area motorcycle dealerships.

"Calm, cool, and creative; that was Marcel," said friend and business associate Justyn Amstutz. "I just can't believe he's gone. Not only was he a leader in our industry but those of us blessed enough to also know him as a friend will miss him very much."

In addition to his passion for motorcycles, Fortney will be remembered as a great music lover, an ardent reader, a devoted husband, and an avid supporter of his daughter's equestrian career.

Marcel lived in Ojai from 1998 through 2005. As the "Unofficial Mayor" of Ojai, it was not uncommon to find Marcel at Ojai Coffee Roasters or Bonnie Lu's surrounded by friends. "I swear, he always had one eye on the window. He could tell you who went by in the last ten minutes, what car they were driving and what the mileage was on that car. He knew everyone. Everyone. Today there's a void running right through the heart of town.", said his long time friend and fellow resident, Jeffrey Cox.

Marcel Fortney leaves his wife, Christie, and daughter Mackie, 14.


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