Lt. Col. Eduardo M. “Monty” Montoya, USAF (Ret.)
April 9, 1920 – September 4, 2013

Lt. Col. Eduardo M. “Monty” Montoya, age 93, a resident of Colorado Springs since 1969, died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on September 4, 2013 after a long battle with congestive heart failure.

Lt. Col. Montoya was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 9, 1920 to Bonifacio and Hortencia (Baca) Montoya. He was the 13th of 15 children born to that union. He was a graduate of St. Michael’s Catholic School in Santa Fe, New Mexico serving as valedictorian of his class in 1938. Shortly after Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet and was commissioned as a Bombardier. He joined the 306th Bomb Group in Thurleigh, England and soon became the lead Bombardier. He completed a tour of combat in B-17’s flying out of England and was extremely fortunate to complete a tour of combat when survival was extremely rare. He was in advanced Pilot Training when World War II ended. After completing Pilot Training, he was separated and heavily recruited to enlist as a Master Sergeant Pilot, which he did. However, the flying-Sgt. Program failed to materialize and he managed to regain flying status as a Master Sergeant Bombardier in B-29’s and flew a second tour of combat over Korea. In 1953 he was recalled as a commissioned officer and Pilot, eventually attaining Command Pilot status. He commanded 3 different units and was Wing Inspector General at two bases. He also completed a tour of duty in Vietnam, serving on General Westmoreland’s staff. A very unique and colorful career left this officer very highly decorated with numerous awards and metals. He retired at Hdqrs NORAD, Colorado Springs, in 1974. He also retired as a realtor in 1985.

In 1953, Lt. Col Montoya married Dorothy W. Lafko. This union grew to a family with three boys before Dorothy’s tragic and untimely death in 1958. Monty again experienced the blessing of wedded bliss beginning on December 24, 1986 when he married his wonderful wife, Klara S. Hill.

Lt. Col Montoya was preceded in death by his parents, 13 brothers and sisters, grandson, Ian Michael Montoya, stepson, Heinz C. Hill and Brother-in-Law, John Lafko.

Survivors include his wife of 27 years, Klara Montoya; sons: George E. Montoya, Reno, Nevada; Joseph D. Montoya (Noi), Castro Valley, California; and Michael C. Montoya (Brenda), Colorado Springs, Colorado. Stepsons: William J. Hill, Ronnie F. Hill (Patty). Grandchildren: Jessica Montoya, Joanna and Natalie Montoya, Joshua Hill, Ashley Hill, and Evan Hill. Great Grandchildren: Elysia Hill and Julianna Hill. Survivors also include numerous very special cousins, nieces and nephews.

Lt. Col Montoya was a member of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Colorado Springs Chapter of the Retired Officers’ Association (for which he served as Sgt-at-Arms for several years), the ORBS, the Air Force Association, the Daedalions, the Air Force Academy Quarterback Club and several Veteran’s Associations.

Monty was a kind, gentle and generous man with a great sense of humor. He will be greatly missed but forever in our hearts.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13, 2013 at the Shrine of Remembrance Funeral Home. A Rosary is planned for 10:30 a.m. followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 6455 Brook Park Drive. A luncheon reception will follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care, 2550 Tenderfoot Hill Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906.

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