DURHAM, Conn., formerly of South Woodstock, and Northford, Conn. — A memorial service was held on Dec 21 and a private burial will be held in the spring for Manton Harry LaFountain, 89, who passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by loving family on Dec. 19.
He was born in Windsor on Oct. 16, 1924, a son of the late Ephraim and Flora (Thrasher) LaFountain, and grew up in South Woodstock. He graduated from Woodstock High School.
He served in World War II as part of the American Field Service, driving ambulances throughout Europe and India. After the war ended, he moved to Connecticut and, for nearly 25 years, worked with many dairy farmers throughout Middlesex and New Haven counties in his employment with the DHIA (Dairy Herd Improvement Association). He was subsequently employed with Jet Lines prior to his retirement in 1987.
For nearly 25 years, he enjoyed RVing around the country with his wife; they had a seasonal campsite at Tree Farm in Springfield for several decades and, in recent years, he spent time with his daughter Jan’s family at Crown Point in Perkinsville.
A Mason, he was a member of the New Haven, Conn., Masonic Lodge.
Mant was an avid reader, enjoyed playing the guitar as well as checkers, was a fearless setback player, and was passionate about computers, technology, cows, and good food. He was a wonderful storyteller and enjoyed talking about his experiences growing up in Vermont, raising Cain with his youngest brother, and—when pushed—shared many WWII stories. He always loved visiting his native Vermont and made frequent trips each year, telling stories as he traveled along old dirt roads—never forgetting his childhood adventures. Reading his regular subscription to the Vermont Standard was something he looked forward to and treasured each week.
He is survived by two loving daughters and their families: Jan Melnik and her husband, Ron, with whom Mant lived, and their sons: Daniel (and Amanda) of Durham, Weston (and Jenni) of Durham, and Stephen (and Francesca) of Monterey, Calif.; and Beth Winslow and her husband, Jim, of Durham, Conn., and their children: Jack Murray of Durham, Conn.; Jim (and Danielle) Murray of Torrington, Conn., and great-grandson, Jaxxson; Jean (and Casey) O’Donnell of Vancouver, Wash., and great-granddaughter, Kara; and Jennifer Murray of Oxford, Conn., two brothers, Richard of Bristol, and Wallace of Winslow, Maine; and many nieces and nephews.
Mant was predeceased by his devoted wife of 59 years, Jane Knox LaFountain, in 2009; one brother, Maurice; and one sister, Sylvia LaFountain Blodgett.
Condolences may be expressed to Mant’s family at PO Box 718, Durham, CT 06422.
This obituary first appeared in the January 9, 2014 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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