Oct. 19, 1927 - March 16, 2013
Joseph James Montana, 85, of Coos Bay passed away March 16, 2013, in Coos Bay, with his children and grandchildren by his side. Cremation rites were held at Ocean View Memory Crematory in Coos Bay.
Joe was born in Utica, N.Y., Oct. 19, 1927, to James Bonascio Montana and Jeanette (Pimpinella) Montana. In 1945, Joe joined the U.S. Navy and served his country during World War II. He returned to New York and worked for the Dupont & Union Carbide companies. He moved out west to Arizona in 1955 and became a member of the VFW and landed a job as the post commander and manager of VFW Post 3632 in Tempe, Ariz., where he met and married the love of his life, Millie, in 1957.
Joe was a dedicated veteran who worked tirelessly at organizing charity events throughout the state. He became the VFW state commander in 1965 and was a life member at his passing. There were many news articles printed about Joe over the years in the Arizona Republic and Tempe Daily News referencing his community service. In 1968, encouraged by his late sister and brother-in-law, Margaret and Dave Cox of Bandon, Joe moved his family north to Oregon to take a position managing the Coquille Valley Elks Country Club and Golf Course.
A couple of years later, Joe, known for his amazing culinary skills, decided to take a leap of faith and bought Bandon Ocean Park Drive Inn in 1970, the best seafood restaurant on the Oregon coast, just ask anyone around in the ‘70s. He eventually went on and bought two Myrtlewood shops in Bandon, one of which housed his prized antique clocks. Joe with his wife, Millie, were avid antique and antique clock collectors. At the time of Joe’s passing he had been a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc., for more than 40 years. Joe was well known throughout the U.S. for his vast knowledge of antique clocks as well as his collection of clocks. Joe and Millie traveled back and forth between Arizona and Oregon after retiring in 1976. Joe was known by everyone for his generosity, quick wit, good Italian cooking, practical jokes and joke telling. He loved life, loved to laugh, and was extremely proud of his family. He will be terribly missed by his family and friends.
Joe is survived by his brothers, Raymond and Robert Montana of Florida, and Ronnie Montana of N.Y.; three daughters, Sue Haber and husband, Bill of Tempe, Ariz., Debbie Falk and husband, Steve of Whidbey Island, Wash., and JoAnne Caldwell and husband, Bill of North Bend; granddaughter, Amanda Giomi of Ashland; grandsons, Mark Serrano, Rick Serrano and Brian Haber of Alamo, Calif., Dustin Caldwell of Reno, Nev., Jeff Caldwell of Portland, and Garrett Caldwell of North Bend; great-granddaughters, Lauren Serrano of Tempe, Ariz., Samantha Serrano and Hayden Haber of Alamo, Calif., and Addy Caldwell of Reno, Nev.; great-grandsons, Estevan Serrano of Tempe, Ariz., Derek Serrano of Chandler, Ariz., and Diego Serrano of Alamo, Calif.; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred D. Montana; brother, Frank A. Montana; sisters, Elizabeth Jane Montana and Marian Trevesani; and best friend, Wayne A. Forde.
A VFW memorial gun salute service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at the Sun Lakes Country Club in Sun Lakes, Ariz., conducted by the Arizona State VFW Chaplain.
For more information regarding the service please contact, 907-252-1049.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Veterans of Foreign Wars, www.vfw.org/Contribute/; American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org/donate; or Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org/donate.
Arrangements are under the direction of North Bend Chapel, 541-756-0440.
Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayfh.com.