Celebration of Life
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019
6:30 PM
l'Alliance Française of San Francisco
1345 Bush Street
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André Fournier

1937 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
André Fournier Obituary
André Jean Paul Fournier

Nov 11, 1937 - Oct 15, 2018

André Fournier passed away of congenital heart failure while in the hospital on October 15, 2018, just short of his 81st birthday. He was born in Nice, France in 1937 and worked as a trainee at Le Negresco Hotel restaurant as well as at la Brasserie Ruhl, which became a casino later. At age 18 in 1955, he joined his older brother Jacques in Montreal, Canada. He worked at the Ritz Carlton and other restaurants and night clubs in Montreal until 1958.

In 1958, André left for New York where his brother Jacques had moved. From there he decided to travel the world and embarked on a few cruise ships as a chef de cuisine and travelled to different countries for a year.
He came to San Francisco in 1959 and worked for the restaurant Doros before being drafted into the US Army in 1961. He trained at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in the First Airborne Group. He was transferred to standby reserve in 1963 in Sausalito. He worked with the Deschamps family at Le Vivoir restaurant of Casa Madrona that attracted a celebrity clientele such as Dick Van Dyke, Carol Burnett, Warren Beatty and the rock band Pink Floyd. André had met the Deschamps family during his time in Montreal before they moved to Sausalito in 1959 where he also worked at Ondine in Sausalito then back in San Francisco where he worked at Doros, the Blue Fox and Alexis.
André met Hanne Schmidt, who was originally from Denmark, in the 60s and they married in 1966. Hanne passed away in 2003.

André transitioned to the Wine and Spirits industry in 1967 working with Bercut-Vandevoort & Co, selling European wines and spirits. He later moved to Seagram Company Ltd, a Canadian multinational conglomerate and the largest owner of alcoholic beverage lines in the world at the height of the 1990s, where he was Vice-President of sales. After a few years, he started his own wine company, André Fournier Wine Company.

A wine connoisseur, André was also an excellent chef. He was a gourmet and a gourmand. He was the Bailli of the San Francisco chapter of La Chaine des Rotisseurs for several years, organizing sumptuous dinners for his many friends and followers. He was also a Chamberlain for the Pacific Northwest region of la Chaine des Rotisseurs. Throughout his life in the Bay Area, André was very involved with the French community, serving on the boards of l'École Bilingue of Berkeley, the San Francisco Alliance Française and the French-American Chamber of Commerce to name a few. André also served as the President of l'Union des Français de l'Étranger for several years and as the President of the Official Committee of the French Organizations of the Bay Area for 13 years starting in 2001. He was a great promoter of French-American relations, working closely with San Francisco City Hall on the Paris-San Francisco sister cities celebrations. He organized the Bastille Day celebration each year at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco. André also organized a Christmas Tree celebration for the children of the French bilingual schools of the San Francisco bay area at the old Hotel Meridien 3 years in a row.

André was a "Bon Vivant" and very generous with the various local French-American organizations and his many friends and acquaintances, donating cases of wine and champagne to many celebrations. He will be remembered for his ever-smiling demeanor, his story telling, and his generosity. In recognition of his contributions to the French-American community, the President of the French Republic awarded André the title and medal of "Knight of the National Order of Merit", a medal awarded for Distinguished Civil Achievements.

He leaves behind his older brother Jacques Fournier in Florida, two nieces and their families who all live in Great Britain as well as many friends in California and France who will miss him very much.
A celebration of André's life is scheduled for Wednesday January 9, 2019 at 18:30pm at l'Alliance Française of San Francisco, 1345 Bush Street. All his friends are welcome. Please RSVP at:

Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9, 2018
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