Merced T. Montoya Jr. (Monty), a longtime Scottsdale resident, died peacefully at home with his family on June 24, 2020 at age 96. His wife, Esther, passed in 2017. He is survived by his children: Linda Sbragia (Lawrence), Carl Montoya (Donna), Marty Montoya, Wendy Stevens (John), 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, two sisters: Eliza Greer and Dolores Bishop, who reside in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and his extended family nieces and nephews in New Mexico and other parts of the United States.
Born and reared in Monticello, NM, Monty moved his family to Arizona in 1953 where he was employed by the Bank of Douglas, the precursor to the Arizona Bank. He worked for the bank in Yuma, Phoenix and Tombstone before permanently settling in Scottsdale in 1963. Monty retired in 1984 as a full Vice President for the bank that eventually became the Bank of America. He was a World War II veteran and served in the Korean Conflict. He was a member of St. Theresa Parish, Scottsdale Elks, American Legion and Civitan Club. In his retirement, he and Esther enjoyed traveling, and spending time with their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
He will be laid to rest at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Phoenix where he will reunite with his wife Esther. Funeral Mass and burial services will be held on Monday, June 29, 2020 at 10:00 A.M. (Arizona time). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Down Syndrome Network (DSNetwork) at the following link: https://www.dsnetworkaz.org/
Due to COVID-19, the services will be limited ONLY to immediate family members. However, the services will be live streamed at 10:00 A.M. on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stphx.org.
Condolences and Hugs from Home may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.
My deepest sympathy to your family for the loss of your wonderful father/grandfather/great-grandfather. Both your father and mother hold a special place in my heart. Blessings, Patty Williams
Gary and Carla Montoya
Carl, Linda, Honey and Marty: Just want to offer our deepest sympathy and condolences. We are sorry we cannot be there. All of you and your families are in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you all. We love you.
My heartfelt condolences to Uncle Merced’s family. I am very sad at his loss. I loved him. He was my uncle and also my Godfather, so we always had a special bond. So many memories of him watching the Johnny Carson show in his chair in the den, joking around about my still missing hubcap, his Dad jokes, listening to his childhood stories, which I loved, while in college, slipping me $20, talking politics, picking grapefruits from the tree out back and so much more.
Uncle Merced was a good man. He lived a good life. I admired his work ethic, his tidiness and organizational skills.
He enjoyed a martini, loved spending time with ALL of his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was a family man. His family meant everything to him. He was the patriarch of an amazing group of people. He had such pride in them and their accomplishments. He served his country and had great patriotism. He loved his Esty. They spent a lifetime together until 2017 when Esther passed. Now they are reunited. As his granddaughter said, “ They’re together and Granny is giving him a little bit of a hard time again….and he is loving it”.
To Linda, Carl, Marty and Wendy, my deepest condolences to you on the loss of your beloved Dad.
Sorry for your loss, and praise a life well-lived!
So sorry to hear about your dad Marty.My prayers are with you and your family as you grieve.He was a humble American hero and it’s because of guys like your dad that we enjoy the freedom we have in our country..Blessings and peace over you old teammate.
I know you feel sad right now and I am sorry for your loss
Just think what he accomplished in his life a great family, being a veteran, a leader in his community. What he must have seen and done in the time he was with us. It’s time to reflect on all the good times and happy memories and celebrate his life.
I extend my sympathy to the entire family. May God be with you and may you find comfort in His arms!
Eulogy from Son:
You never did make it to California for a banking job. Driving from New Mexico in 1953, your chance stopover in Phoenix proved to be the turning point of your life—as well as our lives. On impulse, you interviewed for a banking position and was hired the same day. You and Mom left quite a legacy in Arizona: four children, 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren (not to mention two more on the way)! Your family was central to your life and it meant everything to you. For a self-made man, born and reared in the small village of Monticello, New Mexico, you were blessed to enjoy a full and accomplished life.
Your childhood was brief as you left your parent’s house at five years old to take care of your grandmother, and eventually become her sole caretaker. You did, however, find time to do some crazy stuff in Monticello: secretly drinking the sacramental wine while serving as an altar boy; and terrorizing the local residents when you began driving your grandmother’s car at—12 years old!—at high speeds on the local country roads. With the advent of World War II in 1942, you were one of the first to enlist at 17—although with your parent’s permission, as you were underage. Your reasons for joining were patriotic but also practical, as you needed to support your grandmother.
With a gung-ho attitude, you served in the First Army under General Omar Bradley, participated in the D-Day invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, and liberated a concentration camp. As a sergeant, you commanded a half-track vehicle modified to carry machine guns, useful for strafing hedgerows in the fight across France, Belgium, and Germany. At the end of the war, you suffered minor injuries in a train derailment in Germany and had to be hospitalized. When Germany surrendered, you were offered a battlefield commission as a First Lieutenant to go to the Japanese theatre. It was declined when you learned you were eligible for a discharge.
Like many GIs, you returned home in 1945, a few months too late, however, after the death of your beloved grandmother. You married your sweetheart, Esther Chavez, in 1946 at Hot Springs, (now T or C), New Mexico. As newlyweds, Esther worked in the bank while you obtained a High School GED. Through your own initiative, you managed to get a job at the bank when Esther quit to become a Mom. Then the Korean Conflict started and you were called up to serve as a Drill Sergeant during 1951-1952. Returning to your banking job, your ambition quickly exceeded what the town could offer, and in 1953 moved the family to Arizona. There you were employed by the Bank of Douglas that would later become the Arizona Bank.
As a banker, you worked in Yuma, Phoenix and then Tombstone where in 1958 you became the Manager. In 1963, and moved the family to Scottsdale which became our permanent home. You worked as an auditor for several years, attended numerous banking classes to sharpen your skills, before returning to your first love—branch banking. You moved up the ranks as a Manager, Area Manager, Assistant VP, and then finally, Vice-President. After several mergers, the bank became the Bank of America.
Attaining Vice-President was the crowning achievement of your career. As you would emphasize: “Assistant VP’s were a dime a dozen, but making full VP was special.” You accomplished this Dad through your extremely hard work, perseverance and dedication. You were one of the very few who did not have a college education—-and busted through the barrier in a banking era where Hispanics were mostly nonexistent. Your lack of a college education bothered you and you saw to it that all four of your children attended university. You defied the odds, Dad, and achieved impressive successes. Not bad for a Monticello boy—we are proud of you!
Apart from the job, you did not neglect your civic duties: President of the Yuma PTA, Elks Club member and officer; the American Legion; Finance Committee, St. Theresa’s church; and Civitan Club Treasurer. You even served in the Young Republicans Club in Hot Springs, New Mexico where you lived that successfully promoted the name change to the present and unique “Truth or Consequences.”
Lastly, your greatest accomplishment was your family. You and Mom gave them all of the support and love that you possibly could, and never let them down. You devoted your life to your family. When Esther, your wife of 71 years suffered from dementia, you lovingly, tirelessly and unselfishly assumed a 24/7 caretaker role. Even when her dementia progressed and she became more difficult to handle, you never lost patience with her. Due to your remarkable devotion and love for Esther, she was able to stay with you until her passing.
Amazingly—despite suffering from mental and physical exhaustion from caring for Esther for more than two years—you rebounded. You once again demonstrated your lifelong toughness and resilience and recovered your strength. During the last three years of your life, you took great pleasure in visiting with family, and you especially loved to play with your great-grand-children. You never stopped thanking and showing gratitude to all of your family—and especially your daughter Linda—for all that they did for you.
May you rest in peace, Dad. You have earned it. We are grateful to you for a life well-lived. May your memory serve as a blessing and inspiration to each of us. Farewell.
Christina (Montoya) Nalen
What I remember about Uncle Monty was his smile and laugh. Uncle Danny and my Papa Diego probably met him at the gates. My thoughts are with all of our family as we say goodbye–for now.
I am so sorry for your loss. What a great man! They just don’t make them like that anymore. The rock of keeping the family together.