Derek Fontaine (second from left) joined Fontaine brothers (from left) Chuck, Kelly, Craig and Dean at a tournament in 1994.
Derek Miles Fontaine
Born: August 12, 1960 (Dauphin, Manitoba)
Died: January 1, 2015
Derek Fontaine spent the last three years of his life as general manager of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation Blizzard, one of 11 teams in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Fontaine, who was also named Paptesit Migisi Penaise, or Spotted Thunderbird, operated a group home for male youth. He was also a teacher with the Opaskwayak Educational Authority.
Raised on the Sagkeeng First Nation, on territory east of Lake Winnipeg, Fontaine was a resident of Opaskwayak Cree Nation, a community of 4,500 near The Pas, Man. The Blizzard hockey team, founded in 1996, is owned and operated by Opaskwayak Cree Nation. The team won five consecutive Turner Cup titles as league champions from 1999-2003.
As a young man, Fontaine played forward with the Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba junior league. He scored 19 goals with 28 assists in 42 games. He was from a lareg family of hockey-playing brothers.
Fontaine was diagnosed with cancer last year and a cyst was removed. The cancer reappeared in the fall. He died on New Year’s Day at 54.