Shirley E. Fontaine, 1925-2021

Shirley E. Fontaine, 1925-2021
Shirley E. Fontaine, 1925-2021. Photo provided

WESTMINSTER WEST, Vt. – Shirley Eunice Hart Fontaine, 95, of Cross Road, Westminster West, Vt., recently residing at American House, Keene, N.H., died of medical complications at her residence in Keene Friday, June 18, 2021. Shirley was born Aug. 20, 1925 in Bellows Falls, Vt., the daughter of Arthur and Eunice Hart.

She graduated from Bellows Falls High School in 1943 as salutatorian of her class. She was a telephone operator until she became a full-time mother and homemaker, raising her seven children. She was a devout Catholic and a lifelong member of St Charles Church.

She married her high school sweetheart Gordon “Bub” Fontaine July 8, 1946 at St. Charles Church. They were married for 67 years until his passing in 2014. Surviving are her children James Fontaine and wife Jan of Hyde Park, Vt., Pat Wheeler and husband Peter of Little River, S.C., son-in-law David Hallock of Bellows Falls, Vt., son-in-law Bryan Wood of Claremont, N.H., Elaine DeBell of North Walpole, N.H., Regina Rockefeller and husband Andy of Keene, N.H., and Jean Fontaine and partner Gary Cobb of Westminster, Vt. Her grandchildren include Seth Fontaine, Emily Richards, Kim McCaffrey, Paul Wheeler, Nicole Adams, Amy Tuttle, Adam Hallock, Bridget Goodell, Becky Wood, Amy Wheeler, Bethany Ferguson, Alison Kemp, Matthew Emerson, Hayley Emerson, Jack Rockefeller, and 25 great-grandchildren. Her husband, daughter Kathleen Hallock, daughter Deborah Wood, grandson Christopher Hallock, her brother Francis Hart, and sister Patricia Baldasaro predeceased her. She is survived by several nieces, nephews, and her close friend Claire White.

Shirley raised her children in Bellows Falls and later spent summers at “The Land” in Westminster West. “The Land” started out with a lean-to and over the years they built a house, large barn, and several outbuildings culminating with an in-ground pool. After Bub’s retirement, Westminster West became their permanent residence where so many wonderful memories were shared over the years by family and friends.

Shirley loved Bub more than life celebrating over 67 years of marriage. She was Bub’s right hand man, always by his side with a project. She was devoted to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She loved the outdoors, including hiking, canoeing, golfing, snowshoeing, skating, sledding, hunting – proud to be a dead eye shot – and fishing, almost always accompanied by Bub. She loved to read, knit, go out for breakfast, and spend time with her best friends Myra and Topsy. Shirley was a kind, sweet woman with a twinkle in her eye. She was a friend to all. She was deeply loved and will be truly missed.

The family wishes to thank all the staff at American House Keene for their care and support. A funeral mass was celebrated Tuesday, June 22 at St Charles Church followed by burial at St. Charles Cemetery in Westminster, Vt. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Charles Church, 31 Cherry Hill St, Bellows Falls, VT 05101.

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