OLEAN - Mrs. Fontilla A. Timmons of Olean passed away peacefully Monday (Aug. 4, 2014) at Olean General Hospital in the presence of her loving daughter and friends.
Born on April 8, 1944 in New York City she was the daughter of James and Muriel Murphy Watkins.
Fontilla was raised in New York City and worked as a professional singer on the Coffee House Circuit, which toured college and university campuses around the country. Visits to the St. Bonaventure campus led to her decision to make this her home in the early 1970s. She began a career with the Social Security Administration in Olean and worked for 38 years, retiring in 2010.
She became well-known for her musical talents and for her love of helping others in the community. She performed with Olean Community Theatre and Bradford Little Theatre.
She was a longtime volunteer with the American Red Cross and she received several awards of recognition, including the Social Security Administration's Regional Commissioner's Citation, the Unity Award from the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is and the Cattaraugus County Baseball Umpires Association. She also won many trophies from her time playing in the women's softball league. Fontilla was the co-founder, along with Beverly Twitty-Terrien, of the Gospel Choraliers; was on the Board of Advisors of the African-American Center for Cultural Development; and was a featured member and singer of the bands Ebony & Ivory, Blue Wax and Mojo Hand Blues Band.
Surviving are a daughter, Jacquette Timmons of Brooklyn; and countless friends.
Friends are invited to attend a celebration of Fontilla's life at 3:15 p.m. Friday (Aug. 8, 2014) at the St. Bonaventure University Chapel. Fr. Francis DiSpigno, OFM, of St. Bonaventure University, will officiate.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home, Olean.
Online condolences may be expressed at oleanfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the American Red Cross or to the Cattaraugus County SPCA, P.O. Box 375, Olean, NY 14760.
Published by Olean Times Herald on Aug. 6, 2014.