Fontenelle suffered from diabetes for a number of years.
He was regarded a son of the soil and served in public office in various capacities. Besides serving as mayor, Fontenelle was once the vice president of the St. Lucia Senate.
He was also the first chairman of the Carnival Development Committee and two-time president of the St. Lucia Seamen, Waterfront and General Workers Union. He also had a stint in Canada as the St. Lucia Counsel General.
Relatives said that Fontenelle went into a coma for almost two months, about 35 years ago and they all thought he would have died. However, he later managed to get better and was coping fairly well. However, this time around, all of his vital organs failed him.
His son, Andre Fontenelle told St. Lucia News Online (SNO): “It is a shocking experience to see and to have my father die right in my arms. For somebody who has achieved as much as he had and for what he has done, it is just difficult.”
Fontenelle leaves to mourn his wife, eight children and 13 grandchildren.