Fontaine, Ph.D., P.E., age 86 died January 24, 2013 at home with his family after a brief stay at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Fontaine was born in Mexico City, Mexico March 27, 1926 to a Belgian mother, Hilda Pfinder Fontaine and a French father, Rene' Fontaine. Dr. Fontaine received his primary education in France and Belgium and his secondary education at the Ecole St. Martin de France. He spent the World War II years in occupied France and then re-joined his family in Mexico City briefly before enrolling at Louisiana State University in 1946. There he met his future wife, Dorothy Braswell. They were married August 20, 1949 and enjoyed 63 years together.
Dr. Fontaine received his B.S. (1950) and M.S. (1951) in Chemical Engineering from LSU and his Ph.D. (1954) from Oklahoma State University, formerly Oklahoma A&M. He spent six years in the United States Army Reserve achieving the final rank of Captain. One of the proudest days of his life was December 7, 1956 when he became an American Citizen.
Dr. Fontaine began a productive career at Texaco on February 8, 1954 and retired 39 years later on January 1, 1993. He was assigned to Beacon, New York for 6 years; London, England for 2 years and finally to the Research Labs and offices in Bellaire, Texas and Houston, Texas. Most of his working years were at the supervisory and management level where he successfully mentored and taught several generations of young scientists while producing a large body of research and publications.
Dr. Fontaine was a member of many organizations among which were the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and it's British counterpart, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the American Mathematical Society, the Energy Institute of the United Kingdom, the Society of Core Analysts, the American Chemical Society, the Pioneer Oil Producers Society and the Texaco Retirement Club.
After his retirement, Marc and Dorothy enjoyed traveling the world visiting approximately 50 countries taking hundreds of pictures and slides and providing family and friends hours of travel shows.
Marc is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and their daughters, Alice Fontaine Masquelette and her husband David, Beverly Fontaine Hamilton and her husband Jeffrey and their son, Charles Fontaine and his wife Deborah. Grandchildren include Adam Illian and wife Anastasia, Renee Illian, Ryan Candela and his wife RhaeAnna and their son Riley and his big sister Brianna, the first great grandchildren, and step-grandchildren Mary Masquelette, William Masquelette and Michael Daugherty.
Also surviving are Marc's last living brother, Guy Fontaine and wife Mimi; Maria Escalada, partner to his late brother Jean Francois Fontaine; Natalie de la Fond, former wife of his late brother Albert Fontaine; brother and sister in-law William and Frances Rauschenberg; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his former sons-in-law, Mark Illian and his partner Monika Chikart; Christopher Candela and his wife Lisa and their children Chase and Chance as well as multiple dear friends, especially Tom and Maureen Leverenz who stood by Marc and continue to stand by Dorothy throughout this passage.
A private Mass was said for the immediate family at St. Patrick Catholic Church on Saturday January 26, 2013 and the formal Celebration of Marc's Life will be held on Saturday, February 16th at 10:45am at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, 6221 Main St., Houston, TX, 77030. A reception is to follow in the Fellowship Hall. Interment will be in the Palmer Memorial Episcopal Columbarium.
In Lieu of flowers, for those desiring, contributions may be made to the Catholic Charismatic Center, Houston, TX; St. Patrick Catholic Church, Houston, TX; the Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church Endowment Fund; the LSU College of Engineering, Baton Rouge, LA; or to the
. Visit marcffontaine.com for exact contact information.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Feb. 13, 2013