Salt Lake City, UT – Pauline May Fontaine passed away on Nov 14, 2021, at the age of 83. She was born May 16, 1938, in Salt Lake City to Paul Weinrich Jespersen and Lilly Hermance Nathalie Matthiessen. Pauline was the oldest of six children and their only daughter. The family moved a few times in Pauline’s early years before settling in Wilmette, Illinois in the late forties.
When Pauline was a senior at New Trier High School, she met a young man who would later become her husband and life companion. At the time, Jim Fontaine was a sophomore at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Jim was immediately smitten with Pauline. When she went off to Brigham Young University for her first year of college they corresponded on a nearly daily basis. It wasn’t long before Pauline decided to transfer to Ohio University. Following Jim’s graduation, they were married in the Salt Lake City temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Their marriage lasted over 63 years.
Around 1980 Pauline decided to go back to college where she earned an associate degree enabling her to begin a career as a paralegal. After she and Jim moved to Salt Lake City in 1984, Pauline continued working as a paralegal and ended her distinguished career serving as Executive Director of the Utah Trial Lawyers Association (later renamed the Utah Association for Justice), until her retirement in 2006.
Pauline was always a girl who loved the wind in her face and the breeze in her hair. Soon after retiring she bought a convertible, bringing her full circle from the cherry red 1950 Ford Custom convertible she drove in high school. Pauline was always curious and fearless. She took a flying lesson, went up in a hot air balloon, flew in a glider, went sky diving to celebrate her 70th birthday, and loved riding on the back of other people’s motorcycles. She was talented, creative, and an effortless hostess. She painted, played the piano, and taught piano lessons to three of her grandchildren. In retirement she traveled the world with her husband, grandchildren, and friends. Pauline’s warm personality attracted people for her entire life. She was a good friend to many and will be sorely missed.
Pauline is survived by her husband, James Fontaine, her three children, Laura, Tom, and Rob (Olga) Fontaine, her five grandchildren, Kelly Dorronsoro, Matthew and Isabel Fontaine, Rachel and John Clark, and four of her five younger brothers, Earl (deceased), Roy Jespersen (Anne), Mark (Kim), Wayne (Leslie), Paul Michael (Sharon).
The family would like to express their gratitude to the caregivers in the memory care community of Legacy Village of Sugarhouse and Suncrest Hospice for their great care and kindness to Pauline in her final days.
A small memorial gathering will be scheduled in the near future.
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