Rojerio “Roger” Montoya, 86, peacefully and painlessly passed away at his home in the Barelas neighborhood on December 27, 2018. Roger lived a full and happy life. He loved and cherished his family. His lifetime of devotion to them is a hallmark of his wonderful time on earth.
Roger was born on June 7, 1932 in Torreon, NM to Donacino and Jesusita (Chavez) Montoya. Following high school Roger faithfully served in the U.S. Army from 1952-54 where he was honorably discharged after receiving Korean Service and National Defense Service Medals. After discharge Roger moved to Albuquerque, NM where he married the love of his life and wife of 59 years, Esther (Lujan) Montoya. Roger and Esther lovingly raised their three children Joseph (Karen), the late Janet Montoya Schoeppner (John) and Donna Montoya (Greg). Roger adored his two grandchildren, Mandi and Joseph Baca (Donna), and his great -granddaughter, Mya Louis (Mandi). Roger was very proud that all three of his children attended St. Mary’s Elementary and Middle School. He was also delighted that they and both of his grandchildren graduated from Albuquerque High School. He was pleased that they all followed his footsteps in public service work. Joseph retired from the City of Albuquerque Housing Department after 25 years of service. He currently works for the UNM Athletics Department. Donna works for the Albuquerque City Council. She previously worked for UNM and the City of Austin, Texas. Donna is very active in local issues and events. Janet was a dual language elementary and early childhood school teacher for the Albuquerque Pubic Schools for 25 years. She was also the Executive Vice- President of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation. After a valiant 20 year battle with cancer, she passed away when she was just 47 years old. She was inducted into the APS Hall of Honor in 2017.
Roger was devoutly Catholic and went to daily masses at either Immaculate Conception (St. Mary’s) or San Felipe (Old Town).
Despite being inflicted with a service related disability, Roger worked for the City of Albuquerque for over 25 years as an auto mechanic, big truck mechanic, union steward and ultimately as shop manager for the City Fleet. After retiring in the early 1990s, Roger was able to spend more time enjoying his family. Roger and Esther loved to take road trips to Las Vegas, Nevada and Santa Fe. They also liked to travel to Austin, Texas where his grandchildren were living at the time. Roger and Esther and attended all of their grandchildren’s extracurricular activities at Jefferson M.S. and Albuquerque High. Roger was proud to be a Montoya and always enjoyed visiting with his sister Frances Sanchez (Lorenzo) and his brothers, Arturo (Luisa) and Benjamin (Frances) and all of his nieces and nephews. Roger was preceded in death by his daughter Janet, his parents, his brothers and sisters in law and his brother in law.
A rosary will be held at 9:00 AM on Friday, January 4, 2019 at Immaculate Conception Church followed by a 10:00 AM funeral mass where his cousin, Father Vincent Chavez, will vest as a concelebrant to a Jesuit priest from Immaculate Conception. His interment will follow at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Pall bearers are Frank Sanchez, Larry Sanchez, Tony Montoya, Mike Montoya, Arthur Montoya, Jr, Diego Arencon, Steven Chavez and Joseph Baca.
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