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Merle Fountain
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A funeral was held Monday at Lakewood Funeral Home for Merle Fountain, 83, of Hickman. The former Ceres resident died Tuesday, April 19, 2005 at Oak Valley Hospital in Oakdale.

Burial was at Lakewood Memorial Park.

Born April 12, 1922, Mr. Fountain was a native of Modesto and attended schools in Ceres. He lived in Hickman for 48 years and was a lifelong resident of Stanislaus County. He was a farmer and patented the Fountain Fantastic peach. Mr. Fountain discovered unusual blossoms on on a branch of his freestone peach trees in the 1970s and was attracted by their big, doubleruffled pink petals. The branch also produced larger fruit, Mr. Fountain realized, and he spent years grafting the variety onto other trees before he applied for and received a patent, No. 3086, in 1976. Mr. Fountain was a charter member of the Waterford Ambulance Service, and a member and counselor of the Mended Hearts Club. He served on the Waterford/Hickman Fire Department commission for 15 years and was on the Hickman School Board for 12 years. Mr. Fountain was a member of the American Legion in Ceres and the Waterford Lions Club. He enjoyed gardening, particularly flowers and vegetables.

He leaves behind his wife, Leona Fountain of Hickman; two children, Sally Hummer of Oakdale and Merle Fountain Jr. of Hickman; his brother, Alton Fountain of Novato; his sister, Alta Johnson of San Luis Obispo; and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by four brothers.

Remembrances may be sent to a favorite charity.