Merna Lee Fontes passed away on January 9th, 2021, in Oro Valley, Az. Our beloved matriarch was born in Salinas, California, on May 29th, 1942, where she spent most of her childhood. After meeting Miguel, who would become her husband in 1961, they started to travel.
Early on they moved to Ithaca, NY for school, then to Abu Dhabi for a couple years with their young children, Anthony and Joy. There she enjoyed meeting her new neighbors and learning the new customs and culture. After returning, they settled here in Tucson. In 1976, she turned an old retired chicken ranch into a nursery, Desert Trees Nursery. Today her nursery is a thriving commercial business still being run by the family.
She continued to enjoy adventure and travel. The last few years they traveled to Costa Rica twice to enjoy the fishing and tropical sights with their dear friends. Closer to home they spent time in Washington, Idaho, Alaska, British Columbia, Texas and the mountains of Arizona where they would hunt, fish and spend time with their friends and family.
While Merna loved being with all the family, she took great pleasure in the time she got to spend with her grand, and great grand, children. Merna is survived by her husband Miguel, her sister Margie, her children Anthony and Joy, her grandchildren Josh, Carissa, Tristen, Harlei, Lauren, Drake and Alexandria, and her great-grandchildren Luna and Hallie. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Cathy.
In honoring her request, and in light of the current pandemic situation, there will not be any public services.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Merna Fontes, please visit Tribute Store