Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

April 17, 2014
John O. Montoya

Obit John O. Montoya 1John (Juan) Orlando Montoya passed away April 14, 2014 in Tooele, Utah from multiple myeloma. He was born Sept. 30, 1941 in Pagosa Springs, Colo., and raised in Pagosa, Lumberton and Chama, NM; Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Florence and Durango, Colo.; Grantsville, Stockton, (Tooele Ordnance Depot) TOD Park, Tooele, and Orem, Utah. Obit John O. Montoya 2He also lived in Colombia, South America (Tenjo, Cundinamarca; Bonda, Magdalena; and Andes, Antioquia); Okinawa, Japan; Madrid, Spain; and San Antonio, Texas. John’s early childhood included the Boy Scouts, selling door-to-door products, delivering newspapers and being a farm laborer. He was Utah’s first Peace Corps volunteer and among the very first group of volunteers to serve anywhere in the world from 1961 to 1963. John and his companions labored in rural community development/organizer in Colombia, South America. His efforts were recognized in the New York Times, letters from President John F. Kennedy and other government officials, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of San Antonio and St. Phillip’s College PAZ Award, and a national Beyond War Award. Upon his return from his Peace Corps service, he pursued 35-year career with the Departments of the Army, Air Force and Defense. John worked as a computer operator, management analyst, first full-time equal employment opportunity (EEO) officer, Hispanic Employment Program Manager, EEO counselor, and personnel specialist. He had assignments at the following military bases: Tooele Army Depot, Utah; Kadena Air Base (AB), Okinawa, Japan; Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, and Torrejon AB, Spain. Civilian recognitions included numerous suggestion, performance and outstanding civilian career service awards. John also served our country as an Air Force reservist for 36 years. His assignments were at the Salt Lake City municipal airport, Clearfield, and Hill AFB, Utah; Kelly AFB, Texas; and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He was enlisted for eight years as a personnel technician, attaining the rank of technical sergeant (E-6). John then became a commissioned reserve officer in 1973 and served as a vanguard human/race relations officer, drug and alcohol abuse control officer, Chief of Social Actions, historian, personnel officer, executive officer, deputy Group Commander, senior Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) for Wing and Air Logistics Center commanders, and Inspector General (IG) investigation officer. As Chief of Social Actions, his program was selected as the best in Fourth Air Force and the Air Force Reserve Command. He retired as a colonel (O-6) in 2001. His military decorations included the Legion of Merit, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two oak leaf clusters, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two devices. Educationally, John had a master of arts degree in human resources development and a bachelor of science degree in liberal studies. He earned credits from Brigham Young University, Rutgers University, University of Utah, Weber State College, Los Angeles City College, University of the State of New York, and Webster University. His professional military education included the Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officer School, and the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy where he was the recipient of an Air Force Logistics Command academic achievement award. John was a parishioner of St. Marguerite Catholic Church in Tooele, Utah. He served on church ministries at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in San Antonio, TX, helped with Habitat for Humanity, tutored, invested in rental income property, participated in health research studies, worked part-time reading and scoring national academic tests, enjoyed doing family histories, exercising and traveling, and was on the board of directors of a returned Peace Corps volunteer organization and a homeowners association. He traced branches of his family tree to Europe and Native America. His ancestors included a blacksmith with Hernan Cortes’ army and other military personnel; pioneers of early (1598) New Mexico (then known as a kingdom under Spanish rule); mayors; co-founders of Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M.; a chieftains’ daughter; a political activist who was beheaded for his role in a governor’s assassination; and another one who was banished for being a military slacker and outspoken critic of authority figures. John was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Nellie (Pacheco) Montoya and infant sisters Lorna Mae and Henrietta. He is survived by his wife of over 47 years, Evelyn (Medina) Montoya, son John H. Montoya, sister Laurell (Manuel) Martinez, and brother Jerry (Theresa) Montoya. He is also survived by his in-laws Cecilia (Victor) Mansanarez, Henrietta Slaton, Richard Medina, Pat Thornton, Alice Miera, Margie Valdez and numerous relatives. Visitation will be at St. Marguerite’s Catholic Church in Tooele on Tuesday, April 22 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Eulogy at 7 p.m. followed by the rosary. Funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Marguerite on Wednesday, April 23 at 11 a.m. His remains will be cremated for interment with military honors at the Tooele City Cemetery immediately following the funeral mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to cancer research, your favorite charity or St. Marguerite Catholic School Scholarship Fund. Services entrusted with Didericksen Memorial, 435-277-0050.

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