Obituary: Louis "Louie" Fontana

February 10, 1927 - April 15, 2022
Louis "Louie" Fontana
February 10, 1927 - April 15, 2022
Posted at 9:55 AM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 11:57:50-04

Great Falls lost a legend, husband, father, and friend to all on Good Friday, April 15, 2022. Louis (Lou) Fontana passed away peacefully after a short illness. Lou was born on February 10, 1927, to Peter and Adele Fontana.

Lou graduated from St Mary's and then Great Falls High School in 1944. All through junior high and high school he worked with his brother, Dominic, at S&B grocery to help the family and the war effort. After graduation at the age of 17 he enlisted in the United States Army. Lou was proud to be a World War II combat veteran, serving in the Pacific Theater.

After his military service he attended Montana Tech, University of Idaho, Colorado School of Mines to study engineering and land surveying. After graduation from college Lou spent more than 44 years as the City and County Engineer. Lou is credited with the engineering and planning of most of the major subdivisions in Great Falls, and Cascade County during his 44-year civic career.

After his retirement from public service, he went into business with his beloved daughter and partner, Rina. Rina and Lou proudly and successfully, operated Fontana and Moore Engineering and Land Surveying for more than 25 years.

During his years as the City Engineer, he met the love of his life, Barbara Johnstone. They were married on August 12, 1962. They purchased a family home earlier that year and still both lived there until the day of Louie's passing. Together for almost 60 years they raised a beautiful family.

The stories and accomplishments are too numerous to quote over almost a century as a proud resident of Great Falls. However, Lou was always fond of the story of having a Hollywood film shot partly in the family home. The film was Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, starring Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, and George Kennedy. The family spent time with all the stars, and it created a life-long story.

Louie is survived by his beloved wife of almost 60 years, Barbara (Johnstone) Fontana, as well as his three devoted children, Rina Fontana Moore, Peter Fontana, and Paul Fontana. To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the Schnider Funeral Home website.