Irene Fontaine was born April 10, 1941 to Pearl Allen Sr. and Annie Bell Sturdivant of Wadesboro, North Carolina. She graduated from Anson County High School, and later moved to Rochester, New York, married Nathaniel Jerome Fontaine, and started a family.
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Irene was a strong, beautiful, black woman. She worked tirelessly to help others. She always said, “There’s somebody out there who needs more help than me.” She was a card-carrying member of the
NAACP. Because of her civic engagement, she received numerous awards. Among them were: Patriot of the Year in 2013 from the Hospitalized Veterans Affair Committee; an accommodation from Feed the Children due to her consistent support for over 25 years and her name was added to the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Alabama for fighting against hatred and injustice in America.
She worked for Strong Memorial Hospital for 10 years, then Xerox Corporation for 15 years. Her part time employment was at Walmart, which she loved because she could shop every time she got paid. Her
last job was at Park Ridge Hospital for 30 years, where she was the Housekeeping Supervisor.
As a mother, Irene was the best. She made sacrifices when she didn’t have to, just to make sure her family didn’t go without. Due to her unselfish ways, she was always being blessed in one way or another.
She also had a great sense of humor. She had a way of saying the simplest things in a way that would have you on the floor crying from laughter. What her family and friends will miss most are her voice and
her face, but she will live on in our hearts forever.
Irene departed this life March 19, 2021, predeceased by her parents and a brother and a grandson, Darnell J. Fontaine. She leaves to cherish her memory: 3 children: Thad Fontaine (Teddy), Shenetha Ann Fontaine Jones (Sisie) and Shawn Johnson; grandchildren: Meronda L. Scott, Pierre J., Sierra A.A., and Pierce X. Scott; Shawn Johnson Jr., Jalil, Uriah, Alyssa and Latissa Johnson; greatgrandchildren: Jacarea K. and Sincere J.J. Scott, Serenity A.A. Smith, Ky and Giovanni Scott, and A’aliyah and Aziah Johnson; 2
brothers, Robert and James Allen, along with a host of other relatives and friends