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B: 1934-06-23
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B: 1936-04-02
D: 2020-09-12
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D: 2020-09-10
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D: 2020-09-09
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D: 2020-09-08
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B: 1922-07-12
D: 2020-09-07
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Catherine Hanna
B: 1938-02-17
D: 2020-09-06
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D: 2020-09-06
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10610 Manchester Road
Kirkwood, MO 63122-1308
Phone: 314-965-7680
Ralph Fournier
In Memory of
Ralph A.
1922 - 2020
Memorial Candle Tribute From
Bopp Chapel
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Obituary for Ralph A. Fournier

Ralph A.  Fournier
Ralph A. Fournier, 98, passed away Monday, September 7, 2020. He was born July 12, 1922 in Holyoke, MA. Ralph began drawing at the age of nine, inspired by his mother who was an artist. He inherited his sense of humor from his father. From 1940-1943 Ralph worked at the Springfield Armory and then attended the Syracuse University Air Corps Cadet program in 1943. From 1943-1946 he was an instructor pilot in the US and a B-26 bomber pilot in the European theatre, during WWII for the Army Air Corps 451st Bomb Squadron. Ralph was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor after the war for working with the French Resistance on humanitarian missions and for serving as an interpreter between the Army Air Corp and the Free French.
Ralph’s college education included engineering studies at MA State in 1947 and Washington University School of Architecture from 1948 – 1952. During this time, he studied painting with Gustav Getch, Irwin Carl Schmidt; and sculpture with Richard Deume. He also studied with artist George Dinckle at Rockport, MA in the summer of 1949.
At the Washington University Newman Club, Ralph met Mary Jane Henske, the fourth female architect to graduate from Washington University. They married in 1951 and collaborated in their work while raising four children. Ralph and Mary Jane were married for thirty-two years. He was a devoted husband and father. Ralph spent his last thirty-seven years with dear friend and companion, Sandra B. Nelson. They enjoyed traveling, painting, and their families.
After graduation from Washington University, Ralph opened Fournier, Inc. architectural firm where he did general architectural design, development, and renderings. He developed a successful practice, designing many private homes and working with St Louis’ most respected builders. He designed homes for Burton Duenke in St. Louis and Tan Tara Estates at Lake of the Ozarks, and for Higginbotham Brothers, Les Grotpeter, and Mayer Raischer Mayer. He also designed the prestigious 1956 Better Homes & Gardens Idea House which was built in 93 cities in the US and abroad. Ralph and Mary Jane’s early work, in a style now dubbed “suburban modernism”, was heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School style. In recent years, Ralph was honored for his architectural accomplishments at Maryville University.
After practicing for thirty-six years, Ralph retired from architecture in 1989, yet continued to pursue his interest in art, sketching and painting. His work included seascapes, landscapes, religious themes, portraits, figures, nature, narrative paintings, and commissions. Ralph was a member of the St Louis Artists’ Guild for thirty years. He displayed his work in galleries and art shows.
A Brentwood resident since 1982, Ralph served on the Planning and Zoning Commission and was a founding member of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce. Ralph also gave of his time and talent at his parish St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, volunteered for ten years as an Oasis Tutor at McGrath Elementary School, worked with children at St Mary Magdalen and in the Maplewood and St Louis public schools.
Ralph was a parishioner of Annunziata Parish and for the last 38 years at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church. Ralph spent his life seeking God through the Sacraments, prayer, and charity. He contributed to the happiness of families through his home designs, his paintings, and his service. Through humility, hard work, and perseverance in faith, Ralph has reached his end with the hope of eternal life.
Ralph was preceded in death by parents, Adelard and Blanche (Rouillard) Fournier, sister Marie Claire (Fournier) Menard, and Mary Jane (Henske) Fournier. Beloved Father of Peter R. Fournier of Union, Missouri, Paul D. and Wanda K. (Waits) Fournier of Cathlamet, Washington, James and Noel Marie (Fournier) Walker of Austin, Texas, Dr. Joseph & Jane (Fournier) Gerard of St Louis, Missouri; Grandfather of Shon and Beth (Wochnick) Fournier, Christian F. Walker, and Austin C. and Laurel Anne (Johnson) Walker; Great Grandfather of Jack and Brodie Fournier, and Magnolia R. and Jackson R. Walker. He is greatly missed by his family, relatives, and dear friend Sandra Nelson and fondly remembered by his friends, neighbors, and fans.
Visitation: Bopp Chapel Monday, September 14, 2020. 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary at 3:00pm. Funeral Mass: Tuesday, September 15, 2020. 9:30 am. St Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 2618 Brentwood Blvd, Brentwood, MO.
The family will gather for a private interment at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 2618 Brentwood Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63144