COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (WWLP) – Family and friends will say their final goodbyes on Friday when Lieutenant Colonel Morris “Moose” Fontenot Jr. is laid to rest.
Protecting our country was a passion for Fontenot until his last moment on Earth. His death has been a tremendous loss for the men and women that he considered family at Barnes Air National Guard Base.
Ben Gilluly, a close friend, said that he was “one of the most respected fighter pilots in the United States of America. He built relationships. He was humble and approachable by everyone and he was a fantastic American and the world is a lesser place without him.”
Days after his death, “Moose” was remembered at a vigil in Longmeadow, where he and his family had lived since he was stationed at Barnes earlier this year.
Kara Fontenot, his wife, spoke at that vigil: “The fact that you all took time to come here tonight just shows us that we picked the right community. And we plan to make Longmeadow our home, so I just want to thank all of you.”
Weeks later, military and community leaders said goodbye at a private memorial service at Barnes.
Moose is remembered every time Westfield youth football players take the field. His name is on each of their helmets. And his legacy lives on in every fighter jet seen protecting our skies.
22News spoke with many of the pilots from Barnes Air National Gaurd Base in Westfield who are in Colorado for the funeral. On Thursday, we will bring you on a tour of the Air Force Academy to show you why it’s such a special place to fighter pilots, and how it was especially important to “Moose.”
Friday’s memorial will help serve as closure for the the 104th members, but they don’t end their memorializing. There will be a run/walk in his honor on November 9 in Holyoke.
22News Reporter Kait Walsh traveled to Colorado Springs where the funeral will be held on Friday. The funeral ceremony will be available for viewing on WWLP.com starting at 4:00 p.m. EST.