Alice was born May 6, 1927 in the Island of Jamaica. Her only brother, Monfries Johnson, was born one year after her, and they remained in close touch throughout their lives. As a child, she lived with many relatives until finally settling with her cousins, the Lintons. She grew up under the guiding hand of Avis Agatha Linton, also known as “Mother Linty”, and was like a little sister to her children.
When the Lintons moved to the seaside town of Port Maria in the 1940s, Alice was with them. She decided to try her hand at hairdressing, and gained certification as a beautician from the Rose Leon Beauty School in Kingston. Later, she opened a beauty parlor in Port Maria. Her work in this field brought her in contact with many people, and was a source of lifelong friendships.
In the 1950s, Alice wanted to broaden her horizons, and she joined the wave of Jamaicans migrating to England. Once there, she used her vast hairdresser's network to land a job in a garment factory. However, the dampness and cold of England adversely affected her health. So, she decided to move to the United States. With the help of family and friends, she arrived in New York in the 1960s.
Once in the U.S., she met Marsel Fountain from Tunnel Spring, Alabama, and after a short courtship, they were married in 1964. Marsel was a decorated WWII veteran who predeceased her in 1978. By then, Alice had moved into her fourth-floor walk-up apartment in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. There, she made her home for forty-seven years.
As a widow, she continued to support herself through work as a housekeeper and a nanny. She learned how to prepare many fancy dishes, and had a wide variety of unusual kitchen utensils which she mastered. From her various employers, she received tickets to Broadway shows and baseball games; she was also included in the summer visits to Martha’s Vineyard. Alice formed deep and enduring ties with the families she worked with over decades, such as the Rochlins and the Zachers.
Alice “Lisa” Fountain was known as a feisty lady, a sports fanatic, and was a lover of children, plants and flowers. She will be missed by family and friends in England, the United States and Jamaica.
May her soul rest in peace!