Jake Everett Fontenot, a native of Ville Platte, Louisiana, died on Monday, October 29, 2018 in his hometown. Jake was the devoted son of James Ronald "Ronnie" Fontenot and Carol Louise "Khaki" Fontenot, a loving brother and uncle, and a stalwart friend.
Born in Moosa Memorial Hospital in Eunice, Louisiana, Jake attended Sacred Heart High School before matriculating at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in Natchitoches, Louisiana, from which he graduated in 1993. After studying biochemistry and microbiology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he worked as a research scientist at University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, and Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
As a boy, Jake loved spending time with his paternal grandfather, Howard Fontenot, and inherited from him a working man's love of the outdoors and a penchant for practical jokes. During adolescence, Jake lived his mother's struggle with multiple sclerosis up close. The weight of that experience lay heavy on Jake's shoulders for the rest of his life. Jake's exceptional intelligence and roguish nature made him a puckish provocateur; but this, when combined with his notorious stubbornness, sometimes got the best of him. Never overshadowed was Jake's thoughtful and loving heart. He was a great fan of spontaneous gift giving, often sending others little antiques for no other reason than something reminded him of them.
Jake loved Cajun culture, Cajun cooking, and bird watching. He was at his happiest and best sharing these passions - when his intelligence, easygoing nature, and unassuming charm made him the finest of companions. He loved sitting with elders to talk about history and hear firsthand about their experiences. Jake traveled with friends and family to bird along the Gulf Coast but seemed to most enjoy spending time in and around Ville Platte, especially at Chicot State Park and the nearby Louisiana State Arboretum. He could often be found in a spot he particularly enjoyed - sitting under the carport with his father discussing the backyard flora and fauna.
Jake is survived by his father and stepmother, James Ronald "Ronnie" Fontenot and Debbie Soileau Fontenot of Ville Platte; his brother and sister-in-law, Jason David Fontenot and Miranda Hoffman of Seattle; his sister and brother-in-law, Julie Jeanne Hupperich (née Fontenot) and W. Lee Hupperich of Baton Rouge; and his nieces and nephews, Benjamin Louis, Olivia Katherine, and Matthew Aidan Hupperich of Baton Rouge and Xavier Carroll and Ursula Camille Fontenot of Seattle.
Jake was preceded in death by his mother, Carol Louise "Khaki" Fontenot (née Soileau); his maternal grandparents, Audley J. Soileau and Inez Gravel Soileau; and his parental grandparents, Howard L. Fontenot and Enid Marie Fontenot (née Manuel), all of Ville Platte.
Jake's family and friends will gather at Our Lady Queen of All Saints Catholic Church, 1220 Dardeau St., Ville Platte, LA at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 17, 2018 for a memorial service in his honor.