Jennie Elizabeth Montano was born in Bluff, UT to Randolph and Sadie Benally on October 15, 1925. She lived in difficult times while growing up. They lived in a hogan by St. Christopher’s Mission, where they had to haul water and have firewood for heat in the winter and to cook with.
Jennie is from the Bitterwater Clan and when it was time to leave home, she lived in Blanding, having four kids, Marie, Clara, Shirley and Randy. She worked as a waitress while raising those four kids.
Jennie was active in the LDS church in Blanding. While in Blanding, a young man walked into her life. Celerino Montano, Sr. met mom and wrote to her from Monticello to Blanding, writing letters. Postage stamps were like three or five cents; how times have changed.
So when Jennie and Celerino were married, they decided to call Monticello their home. To this marriage was born four more children, Celerino Jr., Andy, Felix and Veronica.
Celerino worked for the City of Monticello in the Sanitation Department, while Jennie worked at Triangle H Motel in housekeeping. Then she worked for the German family of Ernie Leidig at Navajo Trail Motel.
Jennie was active in the LDS Church. She loved the Blue Mountain, Newspaper Rock, Hamburger Rock, having cookouts and enjoying the sights. Jennie loved Melon Days in Green River. She would go annually and enjoy the melons, parade and sights.
Jennie and Celerino enjoyed gardening. They had a small garden behind the house and would grow corn, squash, potatoes, Anaheim chilies, tomatoes and other vegetables.
She eventually retired and spent time at home with Celerino until he passed away in 2011.
In 2016, Jennie traveled to University Hospital in Salt Lake City and had triple by-pass on her heart. Before doing surgery, she enjoyed doing visiting teaching with the LDS sisters.
When she moved to New Mexico this past spring, she said “I have to go visiting teaching.” But she could not walk the past few months. But she knew where she was and always kept strong in all things.
She stressed to have her kids to get along and stay strong and be together. Jennie will be greatly missed and remembered for her hard work and progress wherever she went.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, brothers and sisters, and children Randy Montano, Celerino Jr., and Marie Martinez.
She is survived by her children, Clara Wells of Tulsa, OK; Shirley and Waldo Valdez of Farmington, NM; Andy, Felix and Veronica Montano of Farmington, NM; and one brother Floyd Benally.
Graveside services were held Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at the cemetery in Monticello, UT.
The family would like to thank Bishop Paul Mitchell from New Mexico, Bishop Todd Westcott from Monticello and Tyler Hall for helping out when needed.
From Felix: Hold on to My Heart by W.A.S.P.
There’s a flame, flame in my heart. And there’s no rain can put it out. And there’s a flame it’s burning in my heart and there’s no rain, ooh can put it out, so just hold me, hold me, hold me.
Take away the pain inside my soul and I’m afraid, so all alone, take away the pain that’s burning in my soul. Cause I’m afraid that I’ll be all alone so just hold me, hold me, hold me.
Hold on to my heart, to my heart hold on to me, hold on to my heart, to my heart hold on to me. And, oh no don’t let me go, cause all I am, you hold in your hands, and hold me.
And I’ll make it through the night and I’ll be alright hold on, hold on to my heart.