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William “Bill” Fontana, 85, of 258 Scott St., Fort Frances, Ont., passed away Monday, March 12, 2012 at La Verendrye General Hospital in Fort Frances.

He was born Oct. 21, 1926 in Fort Frances to the late Andrew and Clementina Fontana.

Bill is survived by his two brothers, Larry (Betty) Fontana of Fort Frances, Ont. and James (Margaret) Fontana of Ottawa, Ont.; and his sister, Jenny (Morris) Wonfor of Fort Frances, Ont.

He also is survived by two nephews, David Fontana, and Mark (Tina) Fontana and their children, Brooke, Nicole, and Tyler; and two nieces, Tracey (Guy) Morrish and their son, Andrew, and Gina (Cam) Keast and their children, Riley, Haley and Braedon.

Bill entertained for roughly 40 years at sports shows in every major city in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan. Annually, he performed at the CNE in Toronto, the PNE in Vancouver, the Worlds Fair in Montreal, and in Osaka, Japan.

He was a strong supporter of animals rights movements, and was recognized within the profession as an outstanding trainer.

Whenever he was on the road as an entertainer or tourist operator, he always promoted tourism for the Town of Fort Frances, along with his good friends, Rusty Meyers and Vern Jones.

Bill resided his entire life in the area of Scott Street and Mowat Avenue in Fort Frances, where he always would return following his travels.

For roughly 30 years, he also owned and operated Canadian Wilderness Floating Lodges. He also established a subdivision for homes on the lake at Nickel Lake.

Bill was well-known by many people all over, and will be dearly missed by all those who knew him.

Cremation has taken place at Rainy River Cremation Services in International Falls, Mn.

A celebration of Bill’s life will be held Friday, March 16, 2012 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Fort Frances, with Fr. Francis Pudicherry officiating.

The pallbearers will be Tom Reid, Roy Avis, Heikki Lampi, Bob Lidkea, Don Cumming, and Larry Cousineau.

Should family and friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to the La Verendrye General Hospital Auxiliary c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.

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