Advanced Search:

Regular Search
❮ Go Back to Listings


Born: Aug 12, 1960

Date of Passing: Jan 01, 2015

Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory

Adjust Text Size: A+ A-

DEREK MILES FONTAINE "Spotted Thunderbird" Papatesit Migisi Penaise With his family by his side, Derek passed away peacefully on January 1, 2015 at the age of 54. Born August 12, 1960 Derek was the son of the late Marcel E. Fontaine and Ruth W. Norton, stepson to Robert (Bob) Norton, son-in-law to Barbara Constant. Derek is survived by his wife of 25 years Bev Fontaine, children Angel (Kelsey), Marcel, Brittany, Derek Jr., Zachary (Zack), Anthony and Ashley; grandchildren, Dreydin, Dion, Darian, Denaya and Trapper; sister, Marcella, brothers Cornell, Dean (Anna), Kelly, Craig and Charles (Holly). Uncles Franklyn (Val) Courchene, Phil (Jan) Fontaine, Bert (Terry) Fontaine, Ken (Judith) Norton, Aunts Thelma and Audrey Fontaine, Mary (Rob Hankinson) Norton, numerous nieces and nephews and many good friends. Derek was predeceased by his grandparents, John C. and Josephine Courchene, J.B. and Agnes Fontaine and George and Elizabeth Norton, father-in-law, Lazarus "Trapper" Constant and numerous aunts and uncles. At the time of his passing Derek was employed as a teacher with Opaskwayak Educational Authority, General Manager of the Junior A OCN Blizzard and operated a group home for male youth. Derek was a humorous, kind, generous and loving man who always put others before himself. His love for his family came first and he was proud of his children and grandchildren. Derek had a passion for hockey and was an excellent role model. Derek instilled in his sons and grandsons the love of hockey and taught them that "its not how you play the game but your attitude". Derek devoted his life to the "game" of hockey and helped many young people reach their dreams and encouraged youth to be the best that they could be and never give up. Derek was a humble man who respected and loved life; he had a way with people and always made the best of any situation. Derek will be greatly missed by his family who were always first in his life, extended family and many friends who knew and loved him. His memory and legacy will live on through his children and grandchildren. Wake services at Sagkeeng First Nation on Sunday, January 4, 2015 at the Roman Catholic Church followed by a service at 1:00 p.m. Monday January 5. Wake services to be held at Margaret Henderson Parish Hall, Opaskwayak Cree Nation on Tuesday and Wednesday January 6 and 7, 2015 followed by a Funeral Service at 1:00 p.m. at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, The Pas, MB. Thank you to all the medical staff at Concordia, St. Boniface and the Health Sciences Centre and in particular to Dr. Czaykowski.
Publish Date: Jan 5, 2015

DEREK MILES FONTAINE August 12, 1960 - January 1, 2015 Passed away after a courageous fight with cancer. Traditional Wake on Sunday evening, January 4 and service on Monday, January 5 at 1:00 p.m. at Sagkeeng Roman Catholic Church. Funeral service to follow on Thursday, January 8, 1:00 p.m. at Church of the Reedemer, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, MB. Full obituary to follow.
Publish Date: Jan 3, 2015

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 05, 2015

Condolences & Memories (45 entries)

  • Condolences to my university days friend Bev. I am so sorry to find out about the loss of your husband. I was browsing around and just now found the obituary. A year has passed and I hope you are now doing well. I just want to send you my sympathy and let you know my blessings go out to you and your family. I hope to see you and your family on the hockey trail again. Please keep in touch. - Posted by: Shelley Lavallee (Oskana Cup) on: Feb 22, 2016

  • I'd like to thank everyone on this message board for your kind words, thoughts, stories, respect, love and prayers. My dad was a great man. My true life hero. And he was everything you've all said and so much more. You only get one dad in your life and the creator blessed myself and my siblings with the best dad ever. To everyone who still has their dad, cherish him. And love him the best you can. - Posted by: Angel-May Courchene (Daughter of Derek) on: Jan 10, 2015

  • When I first met Derek I didn't know him that well so I tried to make some small talk with him, and I asked him if he was related to Phil Fontaine, he replied "No! Phil Fontaine is related to me." Derek had a unique sense of humour and an infectious laugh, he was truly non-judgemental and treated everyone the same, whether they were at the top or the bottom, a trait so uncommon amongst so many nowadays, and this is part of the reason why he was beloved by so many. Almost everyday he would greet me as "Doctor Jones" with a big smile, I will miss that. I lost my mom to cancer so I know how hard it is, and my family will pray for Derek's family and friends. Words cannot really express how much Derek will be missed. - Posted by: Jean-Guy Jones (co-worker/ friend) on: Jan 08, 2015

  • My family and I are greatly saddened by your family and our entire community loss. Derek was at his inner most core and being, a truly good man. His friendliness was like sunshine parting cloudy days. His kindness, caring and genuine compassion for our people, in particular the youth was self-evident and touched anyone who had the privilege of meeting him. He demonstrated what a true Anichinabe man was and should be. I will miss his wit, intelligence and keen insight into Aboriginal life's complexities and treasure every conversation. Our sincerest condolences are extended to the entire family. - Posted by: Coreene Kidd (nee Courchene) ('Sonny' (Harold Gregory Courchene) RIP and Eva Marie Courchene surviving family north shore) on: Jan 08, 2015

  • R.I.P my friend. Always a kind word, always had time to say Hello, was awesome getting to know you. We will always be Team mates. - Posted by: Ron Cossette (friend ,team mate) on: Jan 08, 2015

  • Thou I have not seen Derek or his sister Marcie in many years, I have fond memories of sleep-overs at their mom and step dads home in east paul on hoddinot ave. Derek was my friend Marcie's brother. Derek was always whitty....telling jokes and the nicest guy. I am not surprised that Derek grew to an amazing man. My sincerest condolences to Derek's loved ones. - Posted by: cindy jacklin (school friend) on: Jan 08, 2015

  • I met Derek when I taught at Joe A. Ross. We became friends and he came and taught on my reserve Wuskwi Sipihk. He was a kind generous man who was a role model to many. I appreciate the time he and his daughter Brittany came and worked for our first nation. He raised money to take his students to Edmonton. We will certainly miss him so much.My sincere condolences to Bev, Ruth, Marcella and family. I am so proud that he was my friend. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing this wonderful man. - Posted by: Caroline Flett (Friend) on: Jan 07, 2015

  • RIP Derek It was an honor to have known you and a pleasure to have worked with you. Our condolences to Bev, Angel, Mar, Brit, D, Zack, Anthony. - Posted by: Art and Connie Chartrand (Friend) on: Jan 07, 2015

  • Derek was my grade 9 grad date when we graduated from Robert Andrews School in East St. Paul. I have many wonderful memories of Derek but what I will remember the most are his laugh, his smile, and his kindness. What an amazing legacy he has left for so many. I send heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family and friends. - Posted by: Aynsley Rafnson (French) (Old Friend from School) on: Jan 07, 2015

  • RIP Derek It was an honor to have known you and a pleasure to have worked with you. Our condolences to Bev, Angel, Mar, Brit, D, Zack, Anthony. - Posted by: Art and Connie Chartrand (Friend) on: Jan 07, 2015

  • Rest in peace my friend. - Posted by: norval tait (good friend ) on: Jan 07, 2015

  • Condolences to the Constant/Fontaine families on the loss of Derek. It may be comforting to know that Derek had an impact on many people's lives and from what I am reading on many of the youth as well. He was a very well-liked and respected man. He was so open and friendly to everyone. We came to know Derek through our Sister/sister-in-law who worked with Derek at Joe A. Ross School. Whenever our paths crossed, he always had a big hello and lively conversation as he was well known for his jokes and laughter. He also loved the casino and we would always joke with him there about "emptying" it out when we left which of course was never true. He will be missed by many but never forgotten. - Posted by: Ron and Elsie Moar (friends) on: Jan 07, 2015

  • It is with deep sorrow we hear of Derek's passing. Our sincerest condolences to you Bev and your family, his parents and brothers and sister. We will miss him. Derek was always positive, enthusiastic, humorous, honest and loyal. Knowing Derek and his family has enriched our lives greatly. You are in our thoughts during this difficult time. - Posted by: Brian and Sandra Smith (friends) on: Jan 07, 2015

  • My condolences to Ruth, Marcalla and family in the passing of your loved one. May the creator give you peace as you journey to lay your loved one to rest. Rest In Peace Derek. - Posted by: Joan Henderson (friend) on: Jan 07, 2015

  • Condolences to the family, friends and community of Sagkeeng on the loss of Derek. He was a happy go lucky guy who had a great sense of humour and camaraderie. He was always welcoming and respectful guy. You will be missed by many. RIP - Posted by: Don Wilson (Friend) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • Derek was a close friend who shared a lot of laughter with my boys, when stayed with us while attending unversity. He also played hockey and baseball with the SiouxValley Dakotas, Derek was a true model to our boys who was called Cannon because of the car he drove. cannon will be missed truly by our Dakota family. Condolences going out to the Fontaine family. - Posted by: Elie Tacan and Sharon Sinclair (True friend ) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • My sincere condolences to the family, you're all in my prayers - Posted by: Carl R. Fontaine (Cousin) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • Marcel, So sorry to hear about your dad. Take care. Cindy, Glen & Cam - from Neepawa - Posted by: Cindy & Glen Tibbett (Friend) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • A giving and generous man indeed, one who always had something good to say of others, my last communication with Derek was on the eve of his passing, where he told myself that I was one of his TRUE friends he met in this life. I will respect those words as long as I live in this world. Thanks buddy, I will cherish our friendship. Thank you. - Posted by: Brian C. Constant-OCN (FRIEND) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • Mr. Fontaine was a mentor and a friend to many many students at Joe A. Ross and more recently, OLC. I was very privileged to have met and worked with this man. He was a great inspiration to my son and encouraged him to be something in his life, I will forever be grateful to him as too many young people and parents to OCN!!! Will be greatly missed by so many people and my heart and prayers go out to Bev and all his children, parents and extended family. - Posted by: Rochelle Campbell (friend) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • My condolences to the family from my family. To cousin Ruth (chi-girl), no words can describe the hurt that a mother endures on the loss of a child, may God comfort you and bless you always and forever. Much love to the entire family of Derek. - Posted by: Annette Bruyere (cousin) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • RIP Derek, it was nice to have met you through hockey. Condolences to the families. - Posted by: John l Henry (Friend) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • Sorry to hear of your loss. I know my mother Barbara would have liked to say Sorry and hug you or something, but I'm probably sure she didn't even hear anything yet. I just stumbled on this five minutes ago. I was wondering who was going to go..I don't dream of people passing and hear bangs for nothing, but knew something was coming. I started messaging Amelia cause I was worried for Auntie Barb. Here it was your husband. I didn't know him, But I met him and you seemed to have a wonderful bond with each other and you were very lucky to have him. Thru him and you, I met my cousins, Britt, Zack, little D and Mar. I wish you all strength, and that God stays with you. I wish I knew my family better, but I wish you warmth in your times of sorrow. I hope someone hugs you for no reason, and that you smile for the memories, I hope that your boys remember that you need them as much as they need you too. Always talk, always ask how each other is no matter what. Britt,I didnt even know anything, seen you in Walmart forgot your name at the time, but I remembered after I left. Marcel and Zack n Derek Jr. always find your way to each other and keep your family strong. Trapper needs his uncles. I'll light a candle, I'll say a prayer, I better call my mom. - Posted by: Laverne Ducharme (Cousin to Beverly Anne) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • R.I.P. My friend you will be missed. - Posted by: Gerald Courchene & Family (Friend) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • Mr. Fontaine what can you say about a man who did everything and anything for the youth of Opaskwayak Cree Nation. He not only helped my sons with Hockey he also helped one of them play for Team Manitoba. He was there for my children when they had troubles in school, basically if you turned around Mr. Fontaine was there to pick you up off your feet. No matter the age, no matter the problem, he was always there to lend an ear and a helping hand. For this I am grateful that my children crossed paths with you. My sincerest condolences to Bev and your children and grandchildren. - Posted by: Adele Personius (Friend) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • To a wonderful man and family. He always had time to chat about his love for his family and hockey. He will be missed by many who he has touched along his path. God bless - Posted by: Arthur Kahuna Murray (friend) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • Condolences to the families of the late Derek Fontaine. I grew up knowing the Fontaine's when they lived in Rivers-Wheatland/Oo-za-wee-kwun area some 40 years ago. Derek and his brother played hockey with the us boys from Sioux Valley, he was a highly skilled and gifted player. Derek was always humorous and we teased each other about being Sioux's, Ojibway's or Cree's! We will miss his fond greetings and smile whenever we saw him and his love for hockey. Our prayers are with you during this difficult time. - Posted by: Tim, Zach Whitecloud (Hockey Friends) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • My heartfelt condolences to the Fontaine/Norton family. Derek was a very kindhearted and compassionate person. I knew him and his family when they lived on Hoddinott Rd. and I have many fond memories of Derek and the Fontaine/Norton family; all of whom were very caring and thoughtful people. A very sad loss. - Posted by: Tracey Seniuk (Irwin) (long ago friend) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • He was my teacher, he taught native studies and was a good teacher, telling about his past and what happened to him and stuff. He was a very inspirational person, a good motivator in everything (school, hockey and overall life). He always had a smile on his face, always made students laugh by making jokes. A very respectful, kind man. You always wanted him to be around. We will all miss him\, he may be gone physically but will always remain in our hearts! R.I.P Derek! I always had respect for you. - Posted by: jacelyn mckay (formal teacher) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • Mr Fontaine was always courteous and never walked by without saying hello or a smoke with a lil nod, his presence will be missed - Posted by: Katherine cooper (Friend) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • My deepest condolences to the Fontaine family - Posted by: Kirsten Ross (friend's father) on: Jan 06, 2015

  • My sincere heartfelt condolences Ruth & Bob and to Derek's siblings along with Derek's wife and children and extended relatives --- may our Creator give you strength and comfort at this difficult time - Posted by: valerie krivda re (fisher) (cousin & your baby sitter ) on: Jan 05, 2015

  • I remember Derek as a handsome young teenager that moved into our neighborhood with his parents. He was my best friend's first love and such an fun loving wonderful person. Spent many evenings going to Derek's hockey games as a teen. Later as an adult Derek and I met again, when I cared for his niece. He remembered me right away years later when my husband introduced Derek to me as his friend. Such a wonderful smile and a wonderful sense of humor. When I read about all the things that Derek did for people I am proud to say he was my Friend. Rest in Peace Derek - Posted by: Cheryl Haarsma (Friends since Childhood) on: Jan 05, 2015

  • We are sorry for your loss. Condolences to Derek's family and we especially send love to Ruth. - Posted by: Jim and Karen Wastasecoot (friends) on: Jan 05, 2015

  • To the Fontaine, Constant, & Norton Families, Extended Family Members & Friends: Sending you our deepest condolences. May the Creator shed his light upon you and bring you comfort as you move through the seasons of life. Blessings and Prayers, The Birds in Calgary. - Posted by: Cynthia and Gerald Bird & Family ((Friend)) on: Jan 05, 2015

  • My condolences to the Fontaine family including his extended family including the hockey and education world. Fontaine was a teacher at the Oscar Lathlin Collegiate and the General Manager of the OCN Blizzard and a long time volunteer in minor hockey. More importantly he was a friend and a neighbor. A few years ago I asked my grandnephew a month after his high school graduation what his highlight was from his school years. His response was "when I went on a field trip with Mr. Fontaine to Edmonton after finishing junior high." Derek loved showing the kids that there was a world out there. Not just the Rez. - Posted by: Edwin Jebb (friend and colleague) on: Jan 05, 2015

  • LA LA LA FONTAINE. I had the privilege of knowing Derek (and Bev)when I played hockey for the OCN Blues Senior team (mid 90's). Most recently I met Derek at a Selkirk Steelers game in Selkirk. It had been many years since I moved away from OCN/The Pas but Derek recognized me immediately (as old defense partners our bond was strong). Derek always made me feel part of the "team" with his good natured humor. Somewhere out there a team in the after life just gained a Captain. So long La La La Fontaine. Your friend Ray "Newfie"-"Two Feathers" Hefferman - Posted by: Ray Hefferman (Old Hockey Friend) on: Jan 05, 2015

  • RIP my cousin! Will always remember the good times we had growing up and later as adults. We were all like brothers and we are going to miss your presence! You cared and thought about so many other people and losing you is a great loss! - Posted by: EJ Fontaine (Cousin) on: Jan 05, 2015

  • Angel and your children, I am so sorry for your loss. May God bless you with strength and peace at this. With Love. Condolences to the Fontaine Family. God bless you all. - Posted by: Stagg (Aunt) on: Jan 05, 2015

  • Dear Ruth and Bob: I am sorry to hear that your beloved son Derek passed away and I know that your sorrow is overwhelming at this time. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and Derek's family; his wife and children as well as grandchildren. No one can ease your sorrow but let your family be your comfort in the coming days. I had the privilege of knowing Derek during my employment at the Personal Care Home and knew him as a very caring and fun loving person. I last saw him at the funeral of one of our relatives as we so often do and thought that he was looking very well and so was shocked to hear of his passing. My deepest and sincere sympathy to you and your family. Evelyn Laforte (cousin) - Posted by: Evelyn Laforte (Cousin) on: Jan 05, 2015

  • Condolences to the Fontaine family at this time of sorrow. He looked so good at the wedding of his daughter Angel to Kelsey. Sending you my thoughts & prayers. Stay strong. - Posted by: Evelyn (Courchene) Lapensee (Friend) on: Jan 04, 2015

  • Condolences to Ruth and Bob and family and to his wife Bev and the children. Derek was such an inspiration and role model for the younger generation. His commitment to coaching and helping where he can when it came to 'sports' is immeasurable. He will be surely missed in the arenas and on the playing fields in the summer. When I refereed at the DOTC Winter Tribal Days and watched him play hockey he was such a great hockey player, sportsman and a joker. Derek you will be missed by all the kids that looked up to you, the kids that you coached and the students that you taught as an educator. You are now at Peace and all the angels are singing. - Posted by: Derrick and Debra (Friend) on: Jan 04, 2015

  • Derek.. I was so lucky to met Derek 10 years ago at the NAHC where he was coaching. I was a short chubby ref, and he was sure to point it out with his good humour. He was a good coach and knew how to talk to us officials... (Like a politician) To get the calls to go his way. Later some 4 years later I again crossed paths with Derek when he was teaching in Birch River with my Aunty and Cousin. It was there I truly learnt about his life, the paths he's been down and care he showed towards others. From then on Derek and I where what I considered friends. Thru Derek and Mine friendship I remember meeting some great hockey guys, and he taught me how important honesty and networking was. I was a firefly kid with lots of emotion and energy and he help teach me to accomplish many things. In 2011 I moved to The Pas to finish my Education Degree at UCN. I was working in the school and Derek help me get a job teaching Native History. He introduced me to Ron the principal and allowed me to get my foot in the door. Derek also shared his vision of setting up a specialized foster home where we would help many young people, he was so good with the boys, and his sons and family always welcomed those boys into their home and family. I seen his children so willing to share their father, and many of these boys looked up to Derek as a great mentor. Derek also was a huge part of the success of the MMA coming to OCN. He reminded me to be patient, and to stay on course with the project. If not for Derek the Events would not of happened. The other thing many people never seen was the generosity he had. I remember when He told me that we where going to make a donation to allow the OLC grade 8 class to go on the year end trip to Edmonton with the Blizzard Bus. I sat in his office when he was on the phone all afternoon, finally he look at me with that "we're going to do this" look and said "ok I will pay it" that was it, the kids where taking the big bus, with tv's. that's the person he was. One last story I want to share is last February, I was on the Joe A Ross school trip, Science Fair in Winnipeg. I wanted to take 10 boys to the Jets Game, however couldn't afford the full price tickets. Some kids pitch in to cover some costs. But when I called Derek and told him what I planned on doing he emailed me money to help out. We took a limo to the MTS Centre and bought each boy a drink and hot dog. The kids smiles where priceless. And this is the first time Derek has been given public recognition for his kindness. I am very lucky to have shared a relationship so close with Derek, as I grew and started a family he always would ask if things where ok. He was concerned I pick the right woman just as my real dad would of, I'm also very lucky to have got to know the whole Fontaine Family... Mar Britt, Dee, Zack, Angel, Ashley, Pup, and Bev. I thank you for sharing this wonderful person with me and allowing me to be part of the very huge and extended family. In this time of hardship I'm sending my love to you guys. - Posted by: Gatlin Church (Friend) on: Jan 04, 2015

  • Rest in peace old friend. - Posted by: Joseph Payjack (Friend) on: Jan 03, 2015

  • Bob & sorry to learn of Dereks passing. Very difficult time. As the old saying goes....A parent should not have to bury one of their children. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all family members - Posted by: dennis miller (family friend) on: Jan 03, 2015

❮ Go Back to Listings