Our dad passed away peacefully, age 94, at his home in Millbrae March 31, 2013. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia January 20, 1919 to Valerio and Annunziatina Fontana, he was preceded in death by his beloved sister Gloria. He leaves behind his Loving and caring wife, Louise Chessman Fontana; his children Mark and Valerie; grandchildren Theresa, Stephanie, Victoria, and David; Son-in-law Dale; and brother-in-law Michael; he was uncle to Michael, Carol, Richard, and David; and is also survived by numerous cousins both in the United States and Italy.
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Our dad also leaves behind by his loving, extended family Janis and Brad Levesque; Greg Lagomarsino; Doug Lagomarsino; Jeanne and Doug Monsour. Loving grandfather to Kristina and Beau Levesque, Tony and Lauren Lagomarsino, Collin and Laura Monsour; brother-in-law Lee Chessman; preceded in death by sister-in-law Laura Chessman Olcese. He has also left behind many nieces and nephews who loved being part of his life.
Our dad was a veteran of World War II, serving in the US 9th Army as they fought their way through Northern France, Belgium, Holland, Northern Germany reaching Frankfurt Am Main at the conclusion of hostilities. He was then assigned to Army intelligence, G-2 and remained as part of the occupation of the Allied sector of Berlin until October 15, 1945.
Returning home, he took over the family business, V. Fontana & Co, which he presided over as a nationally acclaimed memorialist, designer and fabricator for the next 35 years. Within that 35 -year period, he served as a member of the Jefferson Union High School District Board, San Mateo County Community College District Board, San Mateo County Arts Commission, San Mateo County Board of Education, San Mateo County Grand Jury, Daly City/ Colma Chamber of Commerce, Daly City Rotary Club, and the Olympic Club Board of Directors. An accomplished accordionist, he was a long standing member of the Musicians Union Local 36.
Dad also found the time to be an active member of the Leonardo Da Vinci Society, Pacific Club, il Cenacolo Club and his beloved Olympic Club.
Outliving most of his older friends but still leaving behind a group of friends of whose company he immensely enjoyed, they were a very important part of his life. And a special mention to Pietro Masnada his loyal employee at V. Fontana & Co. for over 50 years.
Our dad had a very strong presence and made his influence felt to all around him. He was a man of many accomplishments, proud of his business, V. Fontana & Co. but most of all he was proud of his entire family.
As a Master Mason of the San Francisco Bodies of the Scottish Rite for over 70 years and of a member of the Asiya Shriners, in lieu of flowers he would have appreciated donations made to the Shriners Hospital for Children or the Scottish Rite Language Disorder Clinic.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 am Thursday, April 4, 2013 in the Tiffany Chapel of Cypress Lawn Funeral Home, 1370 El Camino Real, Colma, followed by a reception. The family will accompany Elio to the Fontana family vault at Italian Cemetery for a private interment.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Apr. 2 to Apr. 3, 2013