School 21

Patricia Fontes

January 18, 1935 ~ December 19, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old

Patricia Fontes Obituary

Patricia Sanders Fontes peacefully departed on December 19, 2023 in Oxnard.

Patricia, fondly known as ‘Pat’ was born to William and Elizabeth “Betty” Sanders on January 18, 1935 in Glendale, California. She attended Mount St. Mary’s University where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music. Pat began inspiring young lives as a grade school teacher at Santa Clara Elementary and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Oxnard. She later completed her Masters of Arts in Education Administration at the age of 50. Pat dedicated her life to education as a teacher, administrator, school board President, and mentor to countless youth over the course of her 50-year career. Pat's love for her work and dedication to helping students will leave a lasting legacy in the countless hearts of those she touched.

Patricia had a passion for horses and all things equestrian. In her youth, her horse and herself called much of what is now Camarillo their “playground”. She taught riding lessons and established Ventura County’s first 4-H group dedicated to horses. She supported her students and other riders in local competitions and at the annual Ventura County Fair. Pat’s expertise in horses was respected in the community as she was often asked to judge local equestrian competitions.

Patricia married Joseph Peter Fontes (Joe P.) on September 6, 1954 and they created a home on the outskirts of Oxnard, CA. Above all, her greatest passion and accomplishment was being a mother to her five sons. She taught her boys about school, horses, music, sports, and hard work. She was loving, a master motivator, but most of all she was tough.

Upon Joe P.’s passing in 2003, Pat found a friendship and companionship in longtime friend James Henschel, recently widowed as well. They married, traveled around California in their Class A RV with their dog Buddy, and eventually settled back on the family ranch in Oxnard.

Patricia is survived by her second husband James Henschel; sons: Michael Fontes (Kelly), Thomas Fontes (Diane), Robert Fontes (Trish), Gerard Fontes, and William Fontes; as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be greeted in heaven by her parents, Joe P. Fontes; daughter-in-law Christi Fontes; and granddaughter Nicole Goldsmith.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. January 18, 2024 at the Santa Clara Roman Catholic Chapel, 1333 Ventura Blvd., Oxnard. A graveside service will follow at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park, Camarillo where she will be laid to rest next to her beloved Joe P. Fontes. Following interment, all are welcome to a brief reception at Country Harvest Restaurant in Camarillo.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Patricia Fontes, please visit our floral store.

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Funeral Mass
January 18, 2024

10:00 AM
Santa Clara Chapel
1333 E. Ventura Blvd.
Oxnard, CA 93036

Interment following funeral service
January 18, 2024

Conejo Mountain Memorial Park
2052 Howard Rd.
Camarillo, CA 93012


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