Ralph N. Fountain of Las Vegas, Nevada, formerly of Westhampton Beach and Louisiana, died on Sunday, September 29. He was 68.
Mr. Fountain was born on April 7, 1945, to Ralph N. and Ethelle Crawford Fountain in Monroe, Louisiana. He grew up in Westhampton Beach and graduated from Westhampton Beach High School in 1963. He then attended Louisiana Tech in Ruston where he earned a bachelor of science degree in education in 1968. He spent time teaching high school science and math in Westhampton Beach, Shreveport, Louisiana and also in Australia. He took a photography course in Australia that changed the course of his career.
Upon his return to the United States, Mr. Fountain turned his passion for photography into a full-time profession when he began working for the Bossier Press and, later, The Shreveport Journal in Louisiana. While there, he met and married Annette Caramia and together they spent as much time as possible in Big Bend, Texas, exploring and learning about the desert. They moved to Las Vegas in the late 1980s where Mr. Fountain became a photographer for the Las Vegas Review Journal.
In Nevada, he developed a wealth of knowledge of the flora, fauna, geology, ghost towns, hot springs, old mines, early American and other historic sites of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts and the surrounding areas.
Mr. Fountain is survived by his mother, Ethelle Crawford Fountain of Westhampton Beach; a brother, Clifton and wife Dorinda of Shokan, New York; a sister, Kay Aurand and husband Tom of Minnesota; two nephews, Christopher and Kyle; as well as many relatives in the Rayville, Louisiana area. He was predeceased by his ex-wife, Annette; his father, Ralph Fountain; and his step-father, Harold Fountain.
Mr. Fountain requested that his ashes be spread at his favorite spot in the desert. A memorial gathering is being planned for a later date.