Col. Juan Fontanes

Col. Juan Fontanes


Col. Juan “John” Fontanes, Texas State Guard (ret.), passed away Tuesday, April 18, 2023. He was a resident of San Antonio, Texas and Berkeley Springs, W.Va. and a former resident of Hondo, Texas.

Born June 28, 1936, in Bronx, New York. N.Y., he was the son of Frank and Leonora Rivera Fontanes.

A U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, John earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He retired as Sergeant First Class in 1974 with 20 years of service. After a 22-year second career in the Texas State Guard, he retired with the rank of Colonel. He served seven years as Commander of the First Brigade. While living in San Antonio and Hondo, John was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Quihi and the Medina County Museum Board.

He was also a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the American Legion.

Despite his disabilities, John was very active and independent, picking up hobbies in gardening and antiquing.

He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather who had a heart of gold and a contageous smile.

He is preceded in death by his parents; children, John Anthony Fontanes, David Fontanes, Blanche Marie (Missy) Fontanes, Kelly Lew-Hanson and Karsten Lew-Hanson and granddaughter, Lauren Michelle Perez.

He is survived by his wife, Siri Sophar; children, Michelle Fontanes Perez (Javier), Eric Fontanes (Becky), Frank Fontanes (Andrea) and Kimball Lew-Hanson; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren and several brothers and sisters.

John’s funeral service was Monday, April 24, at Guinn-Horger Funeral Home Chapel in Hondo, Texas. Interment will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Lions Club International Foundation, in memory of Juan Fontanes, 300 W. 22nd Street, Oakbrook, IL 60523-8842, telephone 630-571-5466.