We continue our series celebrating Black History Month and those who have made an impact on Baytown. This week we recognize an accomplished Carver High School graduate who had an important role in designing the B-1 Lancer and B1B Bomber.
Houston Fontenot Jr. was born in Louisiana but moved to Baytown as a child. He graduated from Carver High School in 1957 and then went to Prairie View A&M to get a degree in mechanical engineering. Fontenot left Texas to become an accomplished engineer with Lockheed and Boeing-Rockwell International.
Local historian J. Warren Singleton said, “Houston was instrumental in the design of the B1 Lancer Bomber and B1B Bomber.” Singleton also said Fontenot designed the doors of the L1011 airplane and did work on some of the space shuttles.
Houston retired from Boeing in 1999 but didn’t commit to the relaxed life. He went on to become a real estate investor, mortgage broker, and an income tax preparer.
Despite all of Fontenot’s accomplishments, one of the biggest was his family. He married his wife Wilma in 1979 and they had six children. More than 15 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren would come.
Sadly, Houston passed away in 2008 but his legacy lives on today through his family and friends.