Cornelius Anthony Fontyn

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August 1, 1926 ~ July 2, 2018

Cornelius A. Fontyn, 91, of Ridgefield, WA, passed away on Monday, July 2 from heart complications. He was born in Haarlem, Holland on August 1, 1926 and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 10 months old. He attended Catholic school at McLoughlin Institute in Oregon City, where he grew up with his cousin, Carl Duyn, as well as his siblings and other cousins from Holland. He graduated from Oregon City High School in 1944 and enlisted in the US Navy, serving in the South Pacific.
After the war, he worked in a furniture store, on a fishing boat and cannery in Alaska, and as a truck driver for Swift Company and later, for Risberg Truck Lines. During the years after the war, he enjoyed spending time on the Clackamas River, at the beach, and on Mt. Hood, where he met the love of his life, Marie. They were married in 1954 and moved to Ridgefield where they bought acreage and raised their six children. They attended St. Mary of Guadalupe Church, where they made lifelong friends.
Corn was a talented woodworker, making Adirondack chairs, porch swings, wooden bowls and more. He also built the house where they raised their family, as well as their retirement home and the family cabin on the East Fork of the Lewis River. He raised beef cattle and also enjoyed raising chickens and gardening, sharing his bounty of fruits, vegetables and eggs with family, friends and neighbors. And when he wasn't splitting firewood, he was fixing up old bicycles, tricycles and wagons for his children and grandchildren. He also restored a 1931 Model A Roadster that was like the one he owned in high school, and drove it many times in the Ridgefield 4th of July Parade. Corn was a member of the American Legion, Knights of Columbus and Teamsters, and he had donated over 11 gallons of blood in his lifetime.
Corn and Marie were both avid Seahawks fans and also enjoyed spending time with their family and friends at their cabin on the Lewis River, going on cruises and traveling. In 1982 they made a trip back to Holland and connected with family he had never met. Most of all, Corn loved his polka music and parties, and laughing at the jokes and shenanigans of his family.
"You can always tell a Dutchman,
but you can't tell him much."
Corn is survived by his sons, Edward (Nancy), Dennis (Julie) and Tom (Debbie); daughters, Geni Fontyn (Chris), Mary Bee Eavenson (Curtis) and Jodi McKinney (Jim); "adopted" son, Dieter Sherman; 15 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; sisters, Barbara Bakkum of Milwaukie, OR, Lee Howell of Milwaukie, OR and Ellie McWilliams of Battle Ground, WA; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 63 years, Theresa "Marie"; his parents, Conrad and Catherina (Mulder) Fontyn; brother, John Fontyn; and sister, Ida (Fontyn) Polley.
A funeral Mass will be held on Sat., July 21 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Ridgefield, WA, with committal and reception following.
Memorial contributions may be made to Neighbors Helping Neighbors, PO Box 789, Ridgefield, WA 98642.
Please sign his guestbook at:
Religious Service Information
St Mary of Guadalupe Church
1605 N 65th Ave
Ridgefield, WA 98642
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Published in The Columbian on July 12, 2018