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Edward Carlos Montana
December 27, 1926 ~ August 19, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Edward "Vito" Montana, peacefully passed away at the age of 96 on August 19, 2023, while surrounded by his loving family. Vito was born on December 27, 1926 in Andrade, California. He was the oldest son of 8 children born to Thomas and Manuela Montana. Vito honorably served in the US Navy from 1945-1946 and aboard the USS Miami during WWII. His service to his country was a testament to his courage and commitment to a greater cause. Soon after being honorably discharged, due to family hardship, he was briefly employed by the Ice Plant. He then began a 61-year career working for the YUHS transportation department as one of Yuma's most popular and well-known school bus drivers. Vito, his brother, Rabbit and other school friends helped build the first school bus facility in Yuma. Nearly 60 years later the Yuma Educational Consortium Transportation Center was dedicated to Vito in October 2007. This naming served as a lasting tribute to his legacy, a place where his contributions to the athletic community would forever be remembered.
Vito's impact reached far beyond the confines of the bus; he became a mentor and friend to generations of employees at the YUHS bus barn and high school young athletes. Additionally, Vito's remarkable achievements were celebrated when he was inducted into the Yuma High Hall of Fame in 2004 and again for the Yuma High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016. These accolades were a testament to his enduring influence and the lives he touched throughout his esteemed career.
A proud lifelong Yuman, Vito's family could guarantee that he would run into a friend, a family member, or a former student anywhere he went. As a testament to his humbleness, compassion, and generosity, his family learned of the many people Vito helped over the years.
Most importantly, Vito was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and cousin to his large family. His wife Rosela recently joined him in Heaven on September 18th. Vito is survived by his 6 children: Norma (Richard) Stelzer, Tony (Mandy) Moreno, Nellie Montana, Nora (James) Winfrey, Eddie (Carrie) Montana, and Leticia Montana (Chico Ramirez). Vito (Tata) was also the best and most loving grandfather to 21 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great grandchildren.
A special thank you to his niece, Frances, who was his loving caregiver during his final years. Though he has left this world, his legacy of love, strength, and community will continue to shine brightly through the hearts he touched.
He was preceded in death by his parents Tomas and Manuela Montana; brothers and sisters-in-law: Thomas and Lilly, Arthur “Gordo” and Mary Lou, Andres “Rabbit” and Joyce, and Ernie Montana; sisters: Frances Garcia, Sylvia Castillo, and Eloise Martinez; brother-in-law Cerilo Martinez; and nephews: Arty and Albert Montana.
A memorial service to honor and celebrate both Vito and Rosela's life will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 9am at the Yuma Mortuary, followed by Military graveside services at the Desert Lawn Memorial Park.