James Allphin Fontano, 73, of Cedar City, Utah, passed away on August 31, 2023. Jim was born on January 16, 1950, to Alfred Walter Fontano and Violet Pearl (Allphin) Fontano in Oakland, California. He grew up in Castro Valley, California, and graduated from Castro Valley High School, where he played football, served as the student body president, and met his future wife, Kathleen Griffin.\n\nAfter graduating in 1968, Jim served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Great Lakes Mission. His mission set the pattern for a lifetime of service to the Savior Jesus Christ. Some of his favorite callings included serving as the Bishop in the Hawaii Kai 2nd Ward in Honolulu, Hawaii, and serving in the St. George Temple as an ordinance worker, but he found great joy in each of the many different callings he had over his life.\n\nIn 1971, Jim and Kathy were married in the Oakland Temple, just 18 days after he returned from his mission. They had 8 children: James (Clorinda) of Las Vegas Nevada; John (April) of Cedar City, Utah; Peter (Tara) of Sparks, Nevada; Jay (Sara) of Springville, Utah; Michael (Liana) of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Laura (Nigel) Bloomfield of Eagle Mountain, Utah; David (Danielle) of Eagle Mountain, Utah; and Amy (Dan) Morris of Cedar City, Utah. They also have 32 grandchildren, with one more on the way, and were looking forward to their first great-grandchild. His grandchildren were especially fond of their Grandpa.\n\nJim was the consummate entrepreneur. His career path ranged from auto mechanics and construction to real estate and travel, and corporate consulting to restaurateur. He was particularly proud of the Brick House Café that he and Kathy started in Cedar City and operated with John, Amy, and David. The Brick House was voted “Best of Utah” multiple times and featured a menu that included several original dishes created by Jim. His career was marked by ups and downs, but he was a hard worker that always provided for his family.\n\nBecause of his varied career, Jim and Kathy moved around the west and raised their children in the Bay Area, California; Carson City, Nevada; Sandy, Utah; Honolulu, Hawaii; Las Vegas, Nevada; and New Harmony, Utah, before settling down in Cedar City. They made strong friendships in each place they lived and had a positive impact in their community.\n\nIf you knew Jim, you were his friend. He loved to laugh and, more than that, loved to make others laugh. His sense of humor was one of his best traits, and it led to building many friendships over his lifetime. He had the ability to make everyone feel welcome and loved. A great teacher and public speaker, he was often asked to present in church and professional settings.\n\nJim had numerous interests and talents. He loved to play guitar and sing, and later in his life formed a folk band, Juniper 621 (later known as Ash Creek) with some of his dearest friends. Their music brought smiles to many at church and community events and family get-togethers. In his early life he was an athlete and excelled in football, softball, and golf. As he got older, his playing days gave way to watching and coaching his children’s teams, and he particularly enjoyed coaching soccer. He loved the outdoors and scouting, and was recognized for his outstanding leadership in the scouting program.\n\nThe last several years of Jim’s life were filled with significant health challenges. He faced them with dignity, courage, and optimism. When things looked dire, he simply moved forward and worked to get better. One of his favorite things to do was to give his grandchildren rides on his scooter—he would even let them drive! The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the many doctors, nurses, therapists, and other professionals that assisted Jim through those difficult times.\n\nJim was preceded in death by his parents Alfred and Violet, his sister Judy (Dale) Hougaard, and his grandson Garrison. He is survived by his wife Kathy, children Jim, John, Peter, Jay, Michael, Laura, David, and Amy, grandchildren Marien (Hayden Dille), Clayton, Kathryn, Eris, Jackson, Anderson, Jeremy, Abbie, Ben, Ollie, Mack, Tara, Jayson, Jaykob, Anna, Tommy, Jayne, Joey, Meta, Ramy, Deacon, Shey, Donny, Violet, Griffin, Henry, Walter, Sam, Ellie, Mikey, and Rocky, his sister Joy (Munir) Merchant, and many nieces and nephews and their families.\n\nThere will be a funeral service on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cross Hollows Stake Center, 2830 W Cody Dr, Cedar City, Utah. Viewings will be held Tuesday evening, September 5, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Southern Utah Mortuary, 190 North 300 West, Cedar City, Utah, and Wednesday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church prior to services.\n\nInterment will be in the Cedar City Cemetery under the direction of Southern Utah Mortuary. A livestream of Jim’s service and online condolences may be found at www.mortuary.org.