Felipe ‘Phillip’ Montanez

Felipe ‘Phillip’ Montanez

Sept. 19, 1940 – Oct. 19, 2020

Felipe “Phillip” Montanez passed away at 80 years old on Oct. 19, 2020, at the Billings Clinic. 

Phillip was born Sept. 19, 1940, and grew up in the Lovell Mexican Colony with both his immediate and extended family. He was able to attend school until, at the age of 13, he began working in the beet fields in order to help provide for his family. In the years to follow he would have multiple other forms of employment, including farming, mechanic work and detailing cars. Phillip was a hardworking man and joined the railroad in 1968, staying on until his retirement in 2002.

In his first marriage to Maria Juarez, Phillip was blessed with three children, Lydia, Peter and Angel. With Maria came his step-children, Mary Maldanado, Vincent Garcia, and Frank Garcia. Later in 1984 when Phillip married Ruth Oritz-Candalaria, he gained his step-children, Juan Candelaria, Jesse Candelaria, Christina Luna, Joe Candelaria and Zita DeLeon. He and Ruth had many good years together until she passed away in January of 2019.

Phillip was known to check in on his friends and family, regularly visiting his sons’ houses to see what project they were going to be working on next, often offering direction and advice. He always made sure his family had what they needed.

In his passing, Phillip left behind a legacy of exceptional work ethic, dedication and compassion for the ones he loved. He will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends. May Phillip rest in peace. 

Phillip is survived by his children, Lydia Montanez, Peter Montanez, Maria Torres and Angel (Stephanie) Montanez; and siblings Juanita Zertuche, Steven Montanez, Josie Whiting, Carol Romero, Martina Rivera and Joe Montanez. 

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ruth Montanez, and 11 siblings.