Capt. Richard Charles "Dick" Fontaine, 70: Rivergate's Mr. Fix-it man

Dick Fontaine was often seen in his neighborhood trimming limbs, fixing broken sprinkler heads and tidying up common areas in the Rivergate subdivision of Sandy Springs.

The retired pilot would dig up old plants in front of the three entrances of the 185-home community and, upon request, distribute them to residents. Such neighborliness didn't cease after he left the homeowners association board, a post he held for several years.

"He was a type-A personality, but a different type-A personality," said Marty Vlass Fontaine, his wife of 18 years. "He channeled his energy into being a more happy, positive person."

Capt. Richard Charles "Dick" Fontaine was a Delta pilot for 35 years, and for several years he ran a small cattle farm and trucking business. Early in his flying career, he took evening courses to earn a law degree for fun, but never practiced.

He was diagnosed with brain cancer three years ago and died from the disease April 29 at his home in Sandy Springs. He was 70. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Sandy Springs Chapel; Sandy Springs Chapel Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Fontaine grew up in Chicopee, Mass., where, in high school, he belonged to the aviation club. He entered the Air Force and earned a bachelor's degree in aviation management at Auburn University. He flew part-time and taught classes to help pay for college.

His career with Delta started in 1966. While flying domestic flights, he and a buddy earned law degrees at Atlanta's John Marshall Law School. He was still flying for Delta while he ran a trucking business, Tifferic, about 10 years. The company's name reflected the combined names of his children; a family cattle farm outside Griffin bore the same moniker.

Mr. Fontaine enjoyed tennis and working out at the gym, and at one time he built wooden ship models. He was a USO volunteer and member of the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs.

The Fontaines became volunteers as soon as they moved into the Rivergate community, located off of Spalding Drive between Jet Ferry and Roberts Drive. Their house, built on Brandon Hall Drive, is a replica of Naylor Hall, the wedding venue in Roswell that hosted their ceremony.

In Rivergate, Mr. Fontaine's civic commitment has not gone unnoticed. Recently, a plaque and bench that bear his name were erected in a cul-de-sac.

Additional survivors include a son, Eric A. Fontaine of Houston, Texas; daughter Tiffany Beamer of Nashville, Tenn.; stepdaughter Candice Bennett of Atlanta; brothers Robert A. Fontaine of Decatur and Paul Fontaine of Marietta; sisters, Janet Fontaine Farrington of Greenville, Ga., and Theresa Fontaine Barkin of Mobile, Ala.; four grandchildren.