In Memory

James Fontana (Class Of 1993)

James passed away on January 25th, 2009 at Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Alberta with all his family by his side. Born to Lorna and Barry in Hamiota, Manitoba on September 18th, 1975, James was the first grandson in both the Hodgins and Fontana families. Shannon, James and Jeffrey lived on the farm by Lenore/Virden until moving to Brandon with Mum in 1978. In 1981, Eddy Young & Lorna and the three kids moved to Rapid City farm where James was responsible for helping do chores, maintaining the yard and caring for animals. James took all his elementary school years at Rapid City and in 1993 graduated high school from Elton Collegiate in Forrest. During his high school years, James held part-time jobs and participated in school sports, minor hockey and recreational hockey. He enjoyed hunting whether it was gophers in the pasture or game birds, deer and moose. In his younger years, James could always be counted on to get the motorcycles and ski-doos at home running so that fun could be had by friends and family. His aptitude for “fixing” continued over the years to include his own vehicles. James was very particular about how he cared for his Harley Davidson Sportster, his motorcycles, his home and his vehicles. His pride was very predominant. With many pets and many years of 4-H in the Rapid City 4-H Beef Club, it was obvious James had a love for animals. Most years James would show a Simmental animal from his home farm. He even continued to show animals during the summer months for other cattle breeders. James moved to Bassano, Alberta in 1993 and lived there until he passed away. When he first moved to Alberta, he began working for Eddy and Garry Young in construction at Bassano. In 1994, he began to work for Precision Drilling on Rig #61 as a rough neck with a group of friends that became lifelong friends and were like family. His life in the oil patch was spent with the same crew for many years. This crew looked after each other and stuck together like glue when the going got rough. Many years of oil rigging gave James the opportunity to own and operate his power tong business. In the last four years of his life, James worked for a rancher and a local business dedicated to maintaining Encana gas and oil sites. With his unique character and a high energy level, James was never still. Family and friends were very important to James. “James Boy” was very willing to lend a hand or his time as he quite often could be found helping others. He enjoyed being around people and can always be remembered by his famous words “I’ll decide” and “Go hard or Go home”. We all saw the sparkle in his blue eyes especially when he laughed his contagious laugh. His booming voice was easy to recognize by all that knew him. The funeral for James was held February 9th, 2009 at the Rapid City Legion Hall. James was buried at Rapid City Cemetery. James was predeceased by Grampa Ed Hodgins, Great-Aunt Pauline Bush, Grampa Jack Fontana, Great-Uncle Deno Fontana, Grampa Bob Young, Granny Jeanne Fontana and Granny Lilian Young. James is always loved and forever missed by: his Mum Lorna Hodgins, Dad Barry (Cyndi) Fontana, Step Dad Eddy Young, Sister Shannon (Darcy) Bayes, Nephews Logan Bayes and Kirk Bayes, Brother Jeffrey Fontana, Nephew Cole Miller, Granny Audrey Hodgins, Partner Lynette Klein and her son Harley Klein, Aunt Leslee Hodgins (Bryan Wood), Uncle Ed (Debra) Hodgins, Aunt Marty Hodgins, Aunt Cathy (Les) Coulter and cousins Cameron (Lisa) Hodgins, Derek Hodgins, Brodie Hodgins, Kimberly Hodgins, Lane Coulter, Erin Coulter and Tess Coulter, Uncle Vern (Eva) Fontana and cousin Katelin Fontana.

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I’d walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.