In the early morning hours of Nov. 28, 2022, Robert Fontaine, 72, fell asleep in death, surrounded by his family, in hospice care at Orlando Health Doctor P. Phillips Hospital. He peacefully closed another chapter of his life after a prolonged illness, while on vacation.
“Bob” or “Bobby,” as his family and friends knew him, was born on May 19, 1950, in Lowell to Rita and Raymond Fontaine. He was the eldest of six, followed by Priscille, Diane, Raymond, Joanne, and David. He spent his early years in Lowell, first attending Saint Louis de France grammar school, and then Saint Joseph’s High School, graduating as a National Honor Society member in the top 5 percent of his class in 1968.
Bob was active in sports most of his life. He excelled in football and track, and lettered in basketball. As an older man, he liked watching sports as much as playing them. The outdoors beckoned to him. He and his friends often tramped through the woods, camped, and went fishing.
Later he went on to earn a degree in electronics technology fromNorthern Essex Community College. However, his real talent lay in construction, something he started tinkering with in his teen years that would become his lifelong career.
In September 1971 Bob married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Boisvert, and together they made a home and started a family. Their journey carried them to the shores of Martha’s Vineyard in 1986, where they raised their children and Bob continued his trade. It was around this time that Bob had also started to explore his spirituality. He enjoyed going to museums and zoos to learn more about the natural world; he’d spend hours in his gardens. This naturally led to a study of the Bible and the Creator who made such things. In January 1988 he was baptized, and became a minister as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses — a new chapter in his life began. It was this chapter that sustained him in the end, as a man of faith who shared his hope of a better world with others. Rest in peace, Bob, until the next chapter begins.
Bob is survived by his wife of 51 years, Barbara Fontaine, and their children Jennifer Fragosa, Aaron Fontaine, and Holly Lawyer, and their spouses. He had five grandchildren, Briana Fragosa, and Emily, Payton, Kylie, and Ryder Lawyer. He will be missed by his siblings, extended family, and friends. He was predeceased by his parents and youngest brother, David.
A memorial service to commemorate Bob’s life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 1:30 pm at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, located on 48 State Road, West Tisbury, MA 02575. For those who wish to attend but cannot travel, there are arrangements by Zoom link. ID 841 5110 6392, password: Fontaine.