On July 3, 4 and 5 Leduc’s Lions Campground was the gathering place for the 44th annual Fountain family reunion. Families hailing from all over Alberta, Quebec even the U.S., seniors and kids of all ages and several canine relatives gathered to honour a proud tradition that has never missed a year. The oldest Fountains hope that the younger generations will keep up this precious tradition.
Pete and Dolly Fountain homesteaded in Barrhead and raised eight children, who all had families of their own, had successful careers and contributed to their own communities. Two of their six sons, Bill Fountain and his older brother Jack, founded the Fountain Tire chain, the first store opening in 1956 in Wainwright.
Bill Fountain passed away young at 42 in 1976 when there were 40 Fountain Tire stores in Alberta. The company now boasts more than 170 Fountain Tire stores in Western Canada.
The only surviving child of Pete and Dolly Fountain is Doreen Fountain-Douglas, a vivacious and chic Calgary resident. Her late brother Charlie Fountain was the father of Loy Gross, a staunch Leduc community supporter and long-time resident. The original family has now grown to about 140 people: this reunion saw 108 members of four Fountain generations gather to share stories and a memorable weekend.
A tradition started in 1971 by Bill Fountain and his sister Doreen, the 2015 Fountain family reunion in Leduc was packed with fun activities such as a meet and greet campfire, a horse shoe tournament, crib, three-legged races, the ever-popular canine race and a closing banquet. This year’s dog race winner was a robust brindle boxer, “Tito” Wierenga of Spruce Grove; he took home a fancy trophy where his name will be added to the list of previous winners.
Sports are popular in this dynamic family, as shown by three young Fountain descendants at the reunion. Nick Fountain of Wainwright, confident and soft-spoken, is a Junior A hockey player who will be joining the Red Deer College Kings hockey team in the fall. Kate Lumley, a tall, lovely young lady is a 14-year veteran of the iconic sport, and plays for the University of Calgary Dinos: she inherited some of her skills and passion from her dad, Dave Lumley. Nic Miller, great-grandson of Charlie Fountain, is a spirited, teenage hockey player hailing from Gatineau Quebec.
16-year-old Marshall Douglas, grandson of the family’s matriarch (Doreen Fountain-Douglas), shared that “Our Fountain family reunion is so much fun. I hope it continues for a long time; I will attend each year.”
Another local connection to our region is Loy Gross’ daughter and Charlie Fountain’s grand-daughter, Nolana Wieclaw of Wetaskiwin. It is touching and impressive that the Fountains honour their family history with this annual tradition.