Mario Fantoni


May 12, 1959 - June 1, 2022

Dear friends,

Mario Fantoni, a beloved member of the Sacramento Center of the Fellowship of Friends, completed his task this afternoon due to cardiac failure.

 Mario was born May 12,1959, and turned 63 last month. He joined the Fellowship in Brazil in 1988, and a year later traveled to open a new center in Rio de Janeiro. Mario directed the Sao Paolo center in the mid 1990s and then directed the Lisbon center 1996-1997 with Karen Johnston. Mario made several trips with students to Machu Picchu, Peru, as well as to sacred sites in Mexico and Egypt. He lived at Apollo for many years with his wife, Regina.

 Mario’s cheerful and enterprising nature was a hallmark of his being. In an online meeting in Sacramento recently, Mario shared his work with students to rise above the many I’s and to take the opportunities provided by each day.

We thank thee.

The Elysian Society

Memorial Service Text: Mario Fantoni Memorial 06-25-2022

To be the Self is to go beyond death.


  1. Charles Rodkoff June 26, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Thank you Mario….

    Every man has a religion: has something in heaven or earth which he will give up everything else for—something which absorbs him, possesses itself of him, makes him over into its image: something: it may be something regarded by others as being very paltry, inadequate, useless: yet it is his dream, it is his lodestar, it is his master.

    That, whatever it is, seized upon me, made me its servant, slave: induced me to set aside the other ambitions: a trail of glory in the heavens, which I followed, followed, with a full heart. When once I am convinced I never let go: I had to pay much for what I got but what I got made what I paid for it much as it was seem cheap.

    I had to give up health for it—my body—the vitality of my physical self: oh! much had to go—much that was inestimable, that no man should give up until there is no longer any help for it: had to give that up: all that: and what did I get for it? I never weighed what I gave for what I got but I am satisfied with what I got.

    ~ Walt Whitman

  2. Brian June 26, 2022 at 11:13 am

    Querido Mario:

    Recuerdo la primera vez que te conocí, a mis nueve años. Mi familia había viajado a Brasil y fuiste a buscarnos al aeropuerto; nos hospedamos con vos en la casa de enseñanza de San Pablo. Por algún motivo, los recuerdos de aquellos momentos con vos compartidos quedaron en mi memoria por muchos años, y están aún frescos. Tal vez sea porque tu esencia alegre era transparente y simple de observar en tus interacciones conmigo y mis hermanas, lo que creó memoria. Fue muy lindo ver que tu esencia no había cambiado en absoluto cuando te vi nuevamente, esta vez de adulto, años después en Apolo.

    Aunque ya no estés con nosotros físicamente, como una vez me dijo una estudiante: en la Escuela el tiempo y el espacio no existen, porque la amistad de los momentos vividos juntos en presencia es verdadera.


  3. Alex Ayuli June 26, 2022 at 10:51 am

    I knew Mario for over 30 years as a student in our school.
    At times we worked quite closely together, on business ventures, meeting
    regularly for late night dinners, where we would chat on all kinds of
    subjects. From what I saw, Mario never took anything at face value. This
    was one of his great strengths. He would always want to investigate
    subjects, go deeper, ask questions, do research, analyze and then
    proselytize if he liked what he saw.

    He had a deeply playful intellect, that offset his sometimes strong,
    acerbic opinions on certain issues. There was always an element of
    gamesmanship in his approach to life, and in his inner work. Mario loved
    to talk, but he was acutely aware of that tendency, and took steps to
    temper it with silence. There were many meetings where he hardly spoke,
    rather, processing everything being said. When he gave angles, they were
    always pragmatic, honest, and objective. He looked at both sides of what
    he was saying, as he was saying it. Playing with it, drawing connections
    from diverse areas of the work, making little jokes to deflate any sense
    of vanity that often arises in those blessed with the ‘gift of the gab’.

    Mario had a strong personality, he was driven, but one thing I think may
    have been overlooked by many, was his generosity. Mario was a very
    generous guy, with his time, financially, spiritually in terms of how he
    supported students with 2nd line work, attending every meeting, and
    emotionally, contributing to the life of our center at small dinners and

    On a personal note, Mario played a pivotal role, early in my life in the
    school, at Apollo. The great Higher Forces, chose Mario to help me enter
    the Way. For which I will always be grateful. When he rejoined the
    school, last fall, he told me I had played a pivotal role in his return.
    For that, particularly after what has happened, my gratitude knows no

  4. Paola Tacchi-Parks June 26, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Caro Mario, Anima bellissima, goodbye for now. Non solo tu eri presente al momento, ma lo capivi con un intensita’ e leggerezza tutta tua. Dicevi sempre la cosa giusta al giusto momento – con amore.

  5. Yasuko n/a van Ruiten June 26, 2022 at 8:43 am

    You showed us how to love one another with honesty, and openness, and sincerely treat everyone without judgment. Your qualities evoked the same in us. Thank you, Mario, we love you.

  6. Kenneth Weiss June 19, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    Mario was a wonderful servant for the school and helped to organize the early student visits to both Egypt and Peru.

    He was an entrepreneur and was always trying something new and a little bit different. He was very clever and creative at finding ways to accomplish his various objectives, and his efforts led to wonderful stories which he loved to share with his friends at dinners and other events.

    My favorite story relates to the time that he was preparing for Thanksgiving and decided to do that by raising his own domesticated turkey. He obtained a turkey from a man who told him three things: this turkey’s name is ‘Gus’, he is not very friendly, and he doesn’t like brooms. So, he brought the turkey home, and put him in a fenced pen, and began to feed him daily. But every time he entered the pen, Gus became aggressive and chased Mario around the pen. After several days of this, Mario was at a loss for what to do. Finally, he remembered what the former owner had told him, and entered the pen with a ‘broom’. Alas, no more problem! As soon as Gus saw the broom he retreated to his corner and Mario was able to move freely about the pen.

    We enjoyed so much listening to this story and others as Mario recounted his experiences. It often brought a spark to our dinner conversations, and we always looked forward to being with him.

  7. corrina craigmill June 11, 2022 at 12:37 pm

    Mario Fantoni, I always thought he was from Lisbon as he sent us a postcard from there when we were working on News From Abroad. Many years later at one of our last lakeside concerts outside the Festival Hall he came up to help us replace the chairs, beaming as only he could do when he was ebullient about something. “Hey, you guys can play. I never learned to play an instrument. That was the best concert I’ve ever heard here.” When he left the stage everyone was buzzing about wondering who that guy was. He moved away and just barely returned to Sacramento long enough so we could say ‘hello’ again, and then he was gone. Our Plays are written.

    “All in war with Time in love of you,
    as he takes from you, I engraft you anew.”

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