OBITUARY

Richard Fontaine

January 21, 1976August 29, 2019

Richard was born on January 21, 1976 in North Attleboro, MA. He was the son of the late Walter George Sr and Carol Ann McCreery Fontaine.

After moving to Florida as a child, he grew up in St. Petersburg, FL and graduated from St. Pete High School. During his high school years, you could always find Richard leading prayer groups and bible studies at the flagpole as well as cheering on his Green Devils at sporting events. He also ran cross country, cheered for Tampa Bay All-Stars, participated in drama competitions and was a member of the Fifth Ave Baptist Youth Group.

From there he went on to Florida State University, where he was a cheerleader and a staff member for NCA, as well as a founding member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. It was through the common bonds of FSU and cheerleading that Richard met the love of his life, Jennifer Rizi. Several years later, he moved to Sarasota, FL where the two were married in 2004. It was through many years of working with his brother, Bill Byrne, which gave him the experience, ability and inspiration to create his own company, RAFco Striping.

Richard was a successful and compassionate business owner, always wanting to share his experiences and provide opportunities for many family and friends to see the country through work, all while mentoring them in life along the way. Although he was proud of his accomplishments as a business owner, some of the proudest moments of his life came with the births of his three children Marissa Renee (17), Olivia Reese (13) and Finnegan James (6). He was an incredibly devoted father and husband. On any given weekend, he could be found at a gymnastics meet for Marissa, a theater performance for Livi or on the baseball and soccer fields with Finn.

He loved sharing his passion for travelling with his family and some of their fondest memories together were vacations that were spent all over the country and around the world. Richard was an avid golfer and gym enthusiast. He loved challenging himself with obstacle races, marathons and various workouts … always encouraging those participating around him.

His love for the New England Patriots (and all Boston teams!) was undeniable! Although incredibly busy with his business and family, Richard always found time to give back to his community and church family. He served on the committee for the Suncoast Charity Golf Tournament for many years and spent the last two years as co-chairman. He was very active in his church, serving both in the children’s ministry and the church office. His faith was inspiring to so many throughout his life and he once said “The ground is level at the foot of the cross. None of us are any better or worse than the other. We’re all just walking each other home to Jesus.”

Richard is preceded in death by his father, Walter George Fontaine, Sr; brother, Walter George Fontaine, Jr.; and father-in-law, Bob Rizi, Jr. He is survived by his loving wife, Jennifer Rizi Fontaine; his three children, Marissa, Olivia and Finnegan Fontaine; his mother, Carol McCreery Fontaine; his brothers, William G. Byrne III (Debbie), Christopher A. Byrne, Mark P. Ballou, Philip Fontaine, Alan Fontaine (Debby); his sister, JoAnn Fontaine Morel (Richard); his mother-in-law, Melody Sweetsir Kelley (Jim) and sister-in-law Katie Rizi Kimbrell (Bobby). Along with many nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, September 20, 2019 at 4 pm at Bayside Community Church, 8200 Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota, FL. A Celebration of Life will be held immediately following the service at Grove, 10670 Boardwalk Loop in Lakewood Ranch, FL.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Rise Above Performing Arts OR the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Services

  • Memorial Service Friday, September 20, 2019

Memories

Richard Fontaine

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Wilfredo Vazquez

September 20, 2019

I’ve been trying to wait until I felt strong enough to put words down that would honor Rich. I have actually thought of just keeping my thoughts and memories to myself but I can only imagine what Jennifer and his kids are going through. So I want to be part of the many stories that they read over and realize how many people were blessed to know Rich. I met him at Sixteen street middle school. In English class we would of course joke often, somehow we got stuck on an ongoing joke on Space Balls. I still remember Rich was just laughing and laughing as we recounted the movie scenes. We of course got in trouble and were made to take notes to our parents. Then we laughed on how we blamed each other as we retold the story to our mothers’. I was so impressed by Rich and his morals more than anything. The way that this kid kept his commitment and promise to his dad was so impressive. The many options and parties that he was invited to made it even more impressive. We kept and in contact and once in a while we played basketball, for some reason we developed a competitive relationship with each other. Several years ago he invited me to meet at Saint Pete high to relive our youth along with mutual friends. I jumped at the chance to compete against Rich, I honestly had so much respect for him and loved that part of our friendship. Obviously Richard was blessed in many ways; Intelligent, athletic, sense of humor, hard worker incredible character, beautiful family but when you spoke with Rich he would truly ask and be interested in what was going on in your life.
I never ever heard him boast and ever ramble on himself. When he did speak about his life he would speak as things would just happen to him. I am going to miss you dude, I can’t believe that you are not here. You are one of the best people I have ever met and I feel horrible because I thought we had more time. My condolences to your family specially Jennifer, your kids, your mother, your brothers & sisters.

Wilfredo Vazquez

September 20, 2019

I’ve been trying to wait until I felt strong enough to put words down that would honor Rich. I have actually thought of just keeping my thoughts and memories to myself but I can only imagine what Jennifer and his kids are going through. So I want to be part of the many stories that they read over and realize how many people were blessed to know Rich. I met him at Sixteen street middle school. In English class we would of course joke often, somehow we got stuck on an ongoing joke on Space Balls. I still remember Rich was just laughing and laughing as we recounted the movie scenes. We of course got in trouble and were made to take notes to our parents. Then we laughed on how we blamed each other as we retold the story to our mothers’. I was so impressed by Rich and his morals more than anything. The way that this kid kept his commitment and promise to his dad was so impressive. The many options and parties that he was invited to made it even more impressive. We kept and in contact and once in a while we played basketball, for some reason we developed a competitive relationship with each other. Several years ago he invited me to meet at Saint Pete high to relive our youth along with mutual friends. I jumped at the chance to compete against Rich, I honestly had so much respect for him and loved that part of our friendship. Obviously Richard was blessed in many ways; Intelligent, athletic, sense of humor, hard worker incredible character, beautiful family but when you spoke with Rich he would truly ask and be interested in what was going on in your life.
I never ever heard him boast and ever ramble on himself. When he did speak about his life he would speak as things would just happen to him. I am going to miss you dude, I can’t believe that you are not here. You are one of the best people I have ever met and I feel horrible because I thought we had more time. My condolences to your family specially Jennifer, your kids, your mother, your brothers & sisters.

Tamra Cajo

September 14, 2019

I just want to say how sorry I am for your loss. I used to work out with Rich at GymSRQ. He truly was a cheerleader at heart....always pushing the rest of the group with such heart. He will be missed.

Ken Smith

September 9, 2019

Seems like yesterday all of us were on the field at Woodlawn playing baseball then getting a little bit older and going to high school together.

As we got even older we grew farther and farther apart from friendships of past but when something like this happens its mental anguish with thoughts of past, present and future.

I sent you a friend request on FB either same day or day before, strange.

Pass on a good word for me to Jesus Brother Rick.

Mike Depew

September 8, 2019

I have know you since 4th grade. We have been through so much together. From little league, to our middle school days, and our family vacations together as adults. I will never forget you, your smile, your character, your heart , and passion for your family. I will love you forever bro. I pray that you have found Peace. Jenn, Marissa, Olivia, and Finn I am always here for you no matter what. I know how extremely proud he was of you guys and know that he will never be far away.

Rania Dargham

September 6, 2019

Dear Jenn, Marissa, Livi & Finn,
Our hearts are torn into pieces, yet we soothe ourselves by walking down the memory lane.
Fourteen years ago we met through the unbreakable bond of friendship between our daughters. Friendship like this becomes family.
Memories of Rich will always stay in our hearts forever. Rich’s positivity, vibrancy, fun, laughter were beyond impressive.
Best memories to name the least were trick or treating for Halloween, chaperoning each and every school field trip with our daughters, shopping for school supplies every year going back to school, the very special high 5’s he gave to everyone, and cheering for gymnastics.
He is sincerely missed.
Keeping the family in our prayers,
We love you,
The Dargham Family,

Jeremy Ivans

September 6, 2019

I met Rich at Camp Pinewood in the Summer of 2000. We became friends right away and I could always count on him for good advice and a good laugh at any time. We stayed in touch after camp and I still remember the time when he visited me in Tallahassee and told me he was going to be a Dad. I’ll never forget the excitement in his eyes as he told me the news. After I finished school he invited me on two work trips of his. I got to travel all over the US with him and had a blast with him while helping him with his job. He even insisted on paying me even though the experience he had given me was priceless just like his friendship to me. Words can’t describe how much I will miss him. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time for them.

Marty Folsom

September 6, 2019

I remember "Rick" ( before he switched to Richard, and it seems eventually to "Rich") from the children and youth groups at Fifth Ave Baptist. Always with a smile, always a charmer, and very polite when addressing adults. And just maybe, on the edge of mischief, as boys sometimes are. He will be greatly missed. Please accept my sincere condolences.

Jon Dumont

September 6, 2019

I have know you for what seems like forever, brother! You sacrificed for so many and meant so much to me! Words are not able to describe my sympathy to your family and wish I could have been there for you! Your legacy will live on Zeus! Love for all who will never forget him!

Karen ONeal

September 6, 2019

I met Ritchie at Boot Camp at Gym SRQ He was amazing and the life of the Boot Camp ..always fun always smiling and he was in great workout condition, he would bring his daughter Marissa with him and we always had such a good time especially when we had hard workouts like the Gautlete. Ritchie always finished first and was penalized by doing more push-ups. He was awesome doing Burpee’s He would always surpass everyone , he was the king of Burpee’s so fast and he could do so many. He got me through so many workouts with his humor and positive attitude. I enjoyed coming just because he was there. I am so sorry for your loss I am so saddened and I still can’t believe he’s not here anymore ! my prayers are for him every day that he can rest in peace and one day we can see him again. God bless you Ritchie.!

FROM THE FAMILY