MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Add another candle to the cake for Ms. Iona Fontaine! The longtime Montgomery resident celebrated her 107th birthday to fanfare Thursday afternoon.
Ms. Iona was born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, on Jan. 16, 1913, but moved to Montgomery in 1929, she recalled.
Ms. Iona is a proud alumnus of Judson College, located in Marion, and university representatives were on-hand to wish her well on her birthday and to sing the school song for her.
For 22 years, Ms. Iona taught mathematics at Sidney Lanier High School. She retired in 1981, but former students and faculty would have a hard time forgetting her. Some of them also showed up for the celebration.
While Ms. Iona never had any biological children of her own, she considered her students to be her children.
For the last three years, her family has hosted a birthday celebration for her at John Knox Manor No. 2 in Montgomery.
“She’s just a delight to be around,” said Dotty Parker. “She loves activities, and I’m the activities director,” Parker explained.
Parker said Iona is well known around the facility, enjoys bowling, and is meticulous about her hair!
WSFA 12 News profiled her on her 106th birthday, and our previous article put her birthday into some perspective. She’s been alive for 19 U.S. presidencies and has lived through the Prohibition era, the creation of the television, two world wars, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights movement, the first moon landing, and the evolution of the automobile.
Asked what the secret to a long life is, the 107-year-old had a few ideas. She attributes it to being raised by a wonderful set of Christian parents, being raised on a farm and eating lots of vegetables, and holding onto her Christian faith all these years later.
Happy Birthday, Ms. Iona! We can’t wait to report on 108!