The war dramatically changed the direction of Fournier's life. He had been attending the Henry Ford Trade School when he enlisted, and when he came home at age twenty, he could have returned, eventually joining Ford as a tool-and-die maker. He would have retired with a "good pension," he reflects. Instead, he married Joan, his high school sweetheart, and took a job at her father's lumberyard. He was in line to take over the yard, but when his father-in-law suffered a stroke, the family had to sell it. He ended up back at Ford, as a technical writer, then moved into sales--but quit when he was pressured to "cram those cars down the dealers' throats."
He and Joan raised eight kids, living in Niles for many years while he worked for heavy-equipment maker Clark. From there they moved to Kansas City, where as a product manager for a company making hydraulic bucket trucks, he learned how to touch high-voltage lines without getting electrocuted. But Joan disliked Missouri, so they returned to Michigan, where they settled in Ypsilanti and Joan enrolled at Eastern. So delighted was she by her studies in English--she became a librarian--that it made Fournier want to go to college, too. With two kids still at home, he managed to juggle various jobs and earn a B.A. in English, then a master's in counseling at U-M. He did everything from marriage therapy to acting as legal guardian for vulnerable seniors.