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Skidmore College

Barbara Fortin

January 6, 2014

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Barbara Fortin, who retired from the Housekeeping staff in 2000, died January 5, 2014. She was 79.
A native of Schenectady, Barbara was born July 3, 1934, the daughter of the late Walter and Agnes (Koval) Nikolski.
She began working at Skidmore in 1990 and retired a decade later. Colleen Manning, supervisor of events and housekeeping, worked with Barbara in the Penfield residence hall. “She was a sweetheart. A terrific co-worker with a big heart,” said Colleen, who remembered Barbara speaking with love and pride of her family.
Lynne Herriman of the Custodial Operations team also worked with Barbara, and recalled her smile and positive attitude. In addition, according to Lynne, Barbara “was the fastest bed-maker I’ve ever met. She showed me how to complete that task quickly, and I was impressed by her skill.”
After retiring, Barbara returned to Skidmore as a foster grandparent volunteer in the Greenberg Child Care Center. For several years she spent between 15 and 20 hours a week at the center, reading to the children and assisting the staff. Nancy Wheeler, director of the center, said, “She was devoted to the children. She enjoyed working with them as much as they enjoyed her. The staff also appreciated having her help.”
Several members of Barbara’s family also worked at the College: daughter Sheri was a teacher at the Child Care Center and son Chuck was a supervisor on the Custodial Operations staff.
Barbara’s survivors include her daughters Kathy Stevens of Saratoga Springs, Maureen (John) Devine of Hudson Falls, Barbara (Geoff) Holzhauer of Scotia and Sheri Fortin of Watervliet, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Barbara’s husband Richard and two sons Ricky Dave and Chuck Fortin predeceased her.

A graveside service at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Saratoga Springs is scheduled in the spring of 2014. Online remembrances may be made at

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