Collier Jack Fountain • December 17, 2019
Collier Jack Fountain, 96 years of age, died peacefully in his home in the arms of his daughters, in Gulf Breeze, FL, on Tuesday, December 17, 2019.
Jack was born in Paxton, FL, on January 7, 1923, to Fay Best Fountain and Collier Dean Fountain. He was raised by his mother and his kind and caring second father, John Smith. He spent his early childhood years between New Orleans, LA, and Charleston, SC, before his family settled in the community of Beulah, near Pensacola.
His family included merchant marines, cypress shingle makers, small time vegetable growers, homemakers. They were country folk, Southern Baptists and Dad was taught to be fair, kind and honest. He was raised with a large extended family and 3 siblings.
He did well in school and graduated from Tate High School, Pensacola, FL. He remained home to care for his widowed mother, then was drafted and entered the Army Air Corps. He wanted to be a radio tech on jet planes but was underweight. He declined their offer to go to college to learn Russian and instead was taught how to blow up unused equipment in Europe to render it useless.
Soon after Jack’s return to the States, he met Marion Grindberg. They married July 23,1948. He became a Lutheran. Jack graduated from Georgia Tech with an electrical engineering degree. After a brief stint in New York, he and Marion returned to the Pensacola area and remained. He was hired by Chemstrand where he worked until his retirement in 1989.
Jack was known for his variety of interests and his active lifestyle. He knew a lot about local and world history, science, slide rules. He loved swimming, boating, fishing and out of town visitors were always in for a treat. He taught navigational charting classes at The Pensacola Power Squadron. He was a CB radio operator before they were popularized. He later became a ham radio operator and volunteered to “man” the net most every day at 4 am. He and Marion camped in many parks across the US with their friends and family. He was an avid photographer. He loved to sail and was a capable co-captain on multiple adventures. After retirement,
he hiked pieces of the Appalachian Trail until he no longer could. He walked and bicycled and walked and walked…
Jack, with Marion, was a founding member of Redeemer Lutheran Church. He was resolute in his faith and his values, love, patience, kindness, forgiveness. He believed in generosity to all mankind. He was a strong defender of the protection of our environment.
After Marion’s death, Jack moved to Sopchoppy, FL, where he drove the streets in his truck, enjoyed family, joined the local Lutheran Church and lived on the Sopchoppy River with his dog, Toto. He recently returned to his home in Gulf Breeze.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Collier D. Fountain, John and Fay Smith, his sister, Nita Barnes, and his brother, George Kinsinger.
He is survived by daughters, Dianne Flynn (Danny) and Kay Torano
(Francisco J.); grandchildren- Zeke Baucum (Brenda), David Baucum (Kim), Nick Baucum (Ashley), Francisco C. Torano (Nadia), Ignacio Torano (Malayna), Melissa Raffensperger (Cody), Brian Flynn (Erica); 15 great-grandchildren, Victor, Lexi, Aurora, Athena, Arianna, Ashton, Angel, Maya, Francisco M, Colton, Ian, Jackson, Nathan, Ana Lynn, and Rowan; sisters, Frances Bower, Pat Gongaware (Don), Wenona Betase, Marietta Van Heusen (Ray); brother, John F. Smith; and a ship full of nieces, nephews, cousins, close friends.
His life touched and was touched by so many. He is leaving this world a better place.
A celebration of Jack’s life will be on Saturday, December 28, 2019, at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 333 Commerce St., Pensacola, FL. Fellowship with family and friends will begin at 12:00 noon with lunch served. Visitation will begin at 1:00 PM with the funeral service beginning at 2:00 PM. Interment will follow at Pensacola Memorial Gardens, 7433 Pine Forest Road, Pensacola, FL. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Redeemer Lutheran Church or the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.