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Mrs. Elise Fountain

Mrs. Martha Elise O’Quinn Fountain, age 99, of Mt. Vernon, Georgia, died on Sunday, December 19, 2021, at Community Hospice House in Vidalia,

Georgia. Mrs. Fountain was born on May 4, 1922, in the Stuckey Community of Glenwood, Georgia. She grew up there and graduated from Glenwood High School in 1939. She came to Ailey, Georgia, in 1941, to work as a sewing machine operator at the shirt factory, and then worked at Peterson’s Dry Goods Store. She met and married J.M. Fountain, a WWII Army soldier, in 1944. Their first child was born while J.M. was fighting overseas in the Philippines. After the war, they made their home in Mt. Vernon, where they raised seven children on their family farm. Elise returned to factory work in 1959, and then worked at Montgomery County Bank for seven years. Elise was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother to her family. She loved to cook and continued to do this well into her 90s. She was an expert on canning and freezing vegetables from the garden and making homemade preserves and jellies. Her biscuits, lacey cornbread, Brunswick stew and fried chicken were just a few of her specialties. Large family get-togethers were always important to her, especially on holidays. Elise loved to sew, and she was a remarkable seamstress, even making dresses for proms and bride’s maids and costumes for children and grandchildren. She loved working in her yards, and her flowers were beautiful. She was an avid reader and filled her home with books and magazines, even using a magnifying glass to read her Bible and local newspapers as her eyes grew dim with age. After their children were grown, she loved traveling with her husband all over the United States. At age 81, she rode her first airplane to an ancestral tour of

Ireland. Elise was very patriotic and loved her country and her community. She was lovingly known as “Mema” to several generations

of grandchildren, great-grands, and greatgreat- grands, as well as to dozens of community folks. For years, her big old decorated house was a favorite for trick-or-treaters at Halloween. Elise loved and trusted her Savior, Jesus Christ. Mema Fountain taught Sunday School to preschoolers for many years at Mt. Vernon First Baptist Church, where she also served on many committees, and was a faithful member later of the Fidelis Ladies Class. In 2014, she was chosen as Grand Marshal of the Mt. Vernon Christmas Parade. In May of 2020, during the Covid 19 pandemic, Mema Fountain was honored with a surprise “drive-by” parade for her 98th birthday, and she was humbled by the very large number of family and friends who participated to show their love for her. In her last years, she loved to talk about history and she shared her knowledge of all the changes that had taken place in her 99 and ½ years on this earth.

Mrs. Fountain is preceded in death by her parents, Joe Newman and Lola Warnock O’Quinn; her husband of 57 years, Mayor J.M. Fountain; two brothers, Joe and John O’Quinn; three sisters, Mae Moncus, LaVerne Fountain, and Ora O’Quinn; a son-in-law, Don Selph; a daughter-in-law, Linda Sue Fountain; and two infant grandsons.

She is survived by two sons, Jesse (Susan) and Festus Fountain of Mt. Vernon; five daughters, Beverly Selph of Statesboro, Marilyn Fountain, Cynthia Fountain, Becky Fountain (Terry Horne), Charlotte Black (Bill), all of Mt. Vernon; two sisters, Eleene Davis of McDonough and Cora Cheek of Rhine; one brother, Willard O’Quinn of Glenwood; fifteen grandchildren; eighteen greatgrandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren.

A graveside funeral service was Thursday morning, December 23, 2021, at 11:00 at Mt. Vernon Memorial Cemetery with Pastor Karl Hay officiating.

Pallbearers were grandsons.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mt. Vernon First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 482, Mt. Vernon, GA 30445, or to Community Hospice House, P.O. Box 2277, Vidalia, GA 30475.

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