Obituary: Daniel Albert Fontaine, 1959-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Daniel Albert Fontaine, 1959-2021

North Williston farmer's life revolved around the land, his family and his friends

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Daniel Fontaine - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Daniel Fontaine

Daniel Albert Fontaine, 62, passed away peacefully on October 28, 2021, due to complications of cirrhosis. He held on one day past his birthday, savoring his last night with his family crowded in one room sharing stories. He was born in Burlington, Vt., on October 27, 1959, to Gisele and the late Raymond Fontaine. He lived his entire life on the farmland he loved in North Williston, Vt.

He is survived by his wife, Ellen (Bambi), of 36 years and their children: Sienna and her daughter Rhône; Shayna and her husband, Ezra Godfrey, of Longmont, Colo.; Samantha and her husband, Connor LaClair, and daughter Raema; and Joseph and his wife, Anna. He leaves behind his siblings Joanne and her late husband, Andrew Corrow; Dave and his wife, Marybeth; Mike and his wife, Kerstin (Foley); Pete; Jackie and her husband, Boris (Von Stritzky); Tom; and Trish and her husband, Jeff (Ball). He is predeceased by his father, Raymond, and brother Bob. In addition, he leaves behind many nieces, nephews, his extended LaPointe family and many amazing friends.

Our father was a humble man. His life literally revolved around his land, his past of farming, his family and his friends. And he made friends with everyone. We could not go anywhere without him seeing someone he knew. He embodied the essence of the original Vermont energy of really knowing your neighbor, tending the land and savoring sharp cheddar cheese (although he remained an avid Budweiser connoisseur).

He graduated from Rice Memorial High School and thoroughly enjoyed his youth years with his siblings and their notorious adventures. He also enjoyed playing softball, flag football and horseshoes. Along with his brother Mike, he transitioned to take over the Fontaine Farm from his father, and for more than 30 years they milked cows and grew corn back before farming was cool. There were days when he woke up at 4 a.m. for the first milking and remained out haying past sunset.

After farming, he worked in the Fontaine Sandpit, maple sugared, camped, hiked, kayaked, and maintained an old ski hut at the end of his road for the next generation of neighborhood children — or, more likely, for him and his friends to “take a time out,” as he would say. He loved traveling to the Northeast Kingdom and out West later in his life, just as much as he loved an old Western movie and the Dallas Cowboys (no matter how poor their season was). Our father had a soft heart; he was never one to shy away from telling us he loved us in every conversation.

We would like to thank the nurses at the University of Vermont Medical Center for their kindness and care in his last few days of life. As our dad would say, “To make a long story short, I’m in the mode to do a loop, watch the sunset and get out of Dodge.”

Contributions in his memory may be made to Vermont Parks Forever or the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. Visiting hours will be held at the Barns at Lang Farm in Essex Junction on Wednesday, December 1, from 4 to 7 p.m., immediately followed by a celebratory gathering.

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