Community members leave flowers and signs outside the King Soopers on Table Mesa Drive while they grieve and process the events that took place in Boulder on Monday afternoon. A 21-year-old gunman allegedly opened fire in the store, killing 10 people, including a Boulder police officer. (Video by Katie Klann)

One of Suzanne Fountain’s best friends says she was the kind of person who almost certainly died saving others’ lives.

In fact, “I wouldn’t be surprised if she was confronting the mother (bleeper) who did this, to be honest with you,” said Martha Harmon Pardee. “She was fearless and funny and giving and just a salt-of-the-Earth person.”

Fountain and Pardee are both award-winning local theatre actors, though Fountain stopped performing in 2002 and most recently worked for a small Boulder company that helped people enroll in Medicare.

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Fountain, 59, was the matron of honor at Pardee’s wedding, and Pardee was present at the birth of her son, Nathaniel Getz, a graphic artist in Philadelphia. She was, Pardee said simply, “my soulmate.”

The two even played the same character in the same play. Fountain played "Younger” and Pardee played “Older” in the University of Denver’s “Voice of the Prairie,” even though in real life the two were born only a week apart. “She used to give me all kinds of grief about being older than her,” Pardee said.

Fountain was active in the local theatre community for 12 years beginning in 1990, including three productions for the Denver Center Theatre Company: She played a party guest in an updated version of August Strindberg’s “Miss Julie” in 1991; she appeared in Gary Leon Hill’s adaptation of “Back to the Blanket” in 1991; and she played a housekeeper in a stylized production of Garrison East’s “Uncertainty” in 1992.

“I remember her being a lovely human being, a wonderful colleague and a trustworthy and talented actor,” said her “Uncertainty” castmate, Jacqueline Antaramian.

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Jared Gallegos had been standing out for nearly an hour, clutching a bouquet of flowers to leave for his childhood friend, Rikki Olds on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Rikki was shot and killed at the Boulder King Soopers on Monday. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

Fountain won a Denver Drama Critics Circle Award as Best Supporting Actor for her performance as Laura Wingfield in the Hunger Artists' "The Glass Menagerie.” She also earned rave reviews for her role as the caring nurse in the Nomad Theatre’s 2002 cancer drama “Wit,” which earned four stars from both The Denver Post and Boulder Daily Camera.

“The only source of solace and compassion comes from the nurse, played with great warmth and delicacy by Suzanne L. Fountain,” wrote The Post’s Alan Stern. Added The Camera’s Mark Collins: “Suzanne L. Fountain brings a simple but crucial compassion to the play.”

“Her warmth was just extraordinary,” said Billie McBride, who starred as the cancer patient in “Wit.” “She was so wonderful in the part, and just totally real. One of my favorite scenes to play was the one where we just sat and talked and shared a Popsicle together. I love her.”

Other triumphant roles included playing Emily Gibb in the Nomad Players ’1990 production of “Our Town,” and Rose in “Woolgatherer,” a two-person play for Theatre Group. “Man, that woman was colossal, strong, deep, smart and kind,” said her co-star, Kevin Hart.

Fountain was born Aug. 31, 1961. Her longtime life partner was former Hunger Artists theatre producer Phi Bernier.

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