Millard Fontenot - Biography
Millard, known by his friends as Mill, came to most of our attention during the time when on-line knitting forums were extremely active. As the men’s knitting community began to grow and we began to see that there was a surprisingly large number of men who knit/crochet/spun/wove, etc., certain personalities started to emerge as strong voices in the virtual communities, and Mill’s was one of the more supportive and sane voices among us.
Many of us took an active interest in Mill based on his knitting skills which he freely shared in the forums but also based on how he always seemed to stand up for what he believed was right. And he always shared both those two characteristics with grace and kindness. He amassed a number of friends, both virtual and in real life. Many of us knew that Mill was a Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit nurse and lived in Louisiana and was a strong and loving proponent of his family and friends. But we also knew he was a talented and creative knitter that enjoyed the community of other men who knit.
The desire for a men’s fiber-craft community was becoming more and more apparent both with the proliferation of on-line men’s fiber communities, but also with the emergence of the Men’s Knitting Retreats in various locales around the world. It was in the on-line knitting communities where Mill ended up meeting his life partner, Kerry Shannon. In 2012, after corresponding with each other, Kerry and Mill finally met, cementing what was to become the poster-couple of the men who knit communities. Within a few years, Mill had relocated with Kerry to California to settle in with their beloved pets, Suki, Jon and Ponch.
When Mill unexpectedly died at the young age of 43, his life partner, Kerry wanted to find some way to honor Mill’s passion for the men’s knitting community and so he asked if we could set up a charitable fund in his memory that helps fund the various scholarship funds of the regional men’s knitting retreats.