ALTONA — Don Moody says James “Jim” Fountain would have done anything for anybody.
“He’s a big Teddy bear,” he said of the Altona Town Councilor, who died Saturday, July 5. “There’s no other way to describe him.”
The pair met and became friends 15 years ago through the North End Harley Owners Group (HOG).
“He used to call me Pops, and I am honored that he thought of me like his father,” Moody said.
Fountain, 51, died after a brief illness, surrounded by family and friends at Fletcher Allen Healthcare in Burlington.
“He will be missed by all of us,” said Altona Town Supervisor Larry Ross.
No discussion, he said, had yet taken place on how to fill the position left empty on the council by Fountain’s death.
Fountain was elected to the Town Council in November 2013, taking office Jan. 1.
“He was doing really well,” said Ross, who had known him for about two years.
He said the councilor always spoke his mind and advocated for what was right.
“He had a mind of his own; it didn’t matter about party lines.
“He was always willing to jump in and help and do the job that needed to be done.”
Last fall, in advance of the November election, Fountain told the Press-Republican: “I would like all information to be public and accessible. If there are any questions, I would like them to be answered at a meeting.”
A Republican, he was one of four candidates vying for two seats on the board. Vote totals were close among all the candidates, but Fountain earned the most with 239.
‘A GREAT TIME’
Fountain enjoyed riding motorcycles and escorting World War II veterans headed to Washington, D.C., with North Country Honor Flight.
He was a member of the North End Harley Owners Group and Sacandaga Harley Owners Group.