Jeanne Fontaine

July 10, 1931 - September 24, 2015
Kalamazoo, MI



Saturday, October 3, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Galesburg United Methodist Church
111 West Battle Creek St
Galesburg, MI 49053


Saturday, October 3, 2015
12:00 PM EDT
Galesburg United Methodist Church
111 West Battle Creek St
Galesburg, MI 49053


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Galesburg United Methodist Church
111 West Battle Creek St
Galesburg, MI 49053


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Jeanne LaVerne Fontaine died Thursday, September 24th, 2015 with family by her side. She was born in Kalamazoo on July 10th, 1931, spending her childhood in girl scouts and the youth group of First Methodist Church where she was eventually to be married. Jeanne was proud that her entire education came from Western Michigan University. She especially loved to say that, because it was a teaching school, it meant all of kindergarten through 12th grade took place on the original East Campus on Prospect Hill. She graduated from State High in 1949. On June 23rd, 1951 she married Richard Ray Fontaine. The family lived in various Michigan towns until 1959 when they settled in Galesburg and the home she would have for the rest of her life. Jeanne eventually finished her degree and taught kindergarten in Vicksburg and Galesburg schools through much of the 1960s. In the early 1980s Jeanne began an unlikely and prolific career as a maker of teddy bears. Eventually these numbered to over three thousand bears, hand-stitched from her own pattern.

Jeanne cherished the memories of many family road trips during the 1960s and 70s and later, the cruises and train trips she and Richard enjoyed alone together. She also had special memories of sharing a trip with her sister to England and Scotland. Jeanne’s faith in Jesus Christ and her deep caring for friends and family compelled the merciful way she responded to them. One of these ministries came in the form of greeting cards which were faithfully sent sometimes week by week, or even day by day to those she knew who were ill or with family in active service and needing encouragement. Over the years, Jeanne knitted countless Christmas stockings for friends and family and she responded to any birth announcement with the gift of knitted booties, bonnets and blankets.

Jeanne’s husband died in 2001. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Zell Burdette and Hallie Whedon (Taylor) Scamehorn; by her brothers-in-law, William King, Robert King and Robert Lorentz; and by her sister-in-law Beverly King. She was also preceded in death by her dear friend, Nancy Rutherford. She is survived by her sisters, Eleanor Jane (Robert) Lorentz and Nancy Burdette (John) Pawloski. She is also survived by her children, Juliet Anne (James) Betke, Carolyn Sue (Allan) Hilgendorf and Richard Alan (Lee Anne Latchaw) Fontaine. Three grandsons also survive her, Thomas Edward Roe, Todd Alan (Terri) Baldwin and Christopher Daniel Betke. Jeanne also leaves behind several great-grandchildren, Austin, Trenton, Ayden, Christina, Andrew, Alexis and Matt.

She is loved and will be missed by everyone who knew her.

Visitation will be held at the Galesburg United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 3rd at 11:00 a.m., with the funeral at noon. A luncheon will follow. Interment will be in Oakgrove Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Galesburg U.M.C.