Barbara Montella October 20, 1945 ~ July 8, 2023
Barbara was born to Eugene and Arva Brewster on October 20, 1945 in Orange, TX. She had one brother, Bob Brewster.
The daughter of a uranium driller, Barbara spent her childhood moving around the Southwest United States.
When she was in the seventh grade, Barbara’s family settled down in Blanding. She would go on to complete her schooling at San Juan High, where she was a cheerleader.
It was here that she met the love of her life, Frank Montella. The two of them were married in Blanding in 1962.
They were married for 61 years and spent their entire married life living in Blanding and Monticello.
In 1963 they welcomed their first son, Tony, and their second son, Todd, three years later.
In the early 1970s, Barbara and her family moved to Monticello, where they would spend the next 15 years. She began working for the county assessor and became the interim assessor following his death.
She ran for election for the first time in 1974 and won. She would run three more times before deciding to retire from the assessors office in 1990.
As San Juan County assessor, Barbara made frequent trips to Salt Lake City to meet with the Utah Association of Counties and would join the organization for trips around the United States.
On these trips, Barbara had the opportunity to meet Secretariat and Ronald Regan.
In 1981, Barbara was elected president of the Utah Association of Counties, becoming the first woman to hold the position.
The next year Barbara was recognized as “Assessor of the Year” by the Utah chapter of the International Association of Assessing Officers.
After three successful terms as San Juan County Assessor, Barbara decided to retire from the office in 1988.
Frank and Barbara moved to Blanding, where she helped him run the office at Montella’s Repair for the next ten years before deciding to officially retire.
In the years afterwards, Barbara enjoyed spending time with her family, working in her garden, and spending her days out at her long-dreamed-of cabins.
On July 8, 2023, Barbara passed peacefully at home in Blanding at the age of 77 following a nine-month battle with cancer.
She is survived by her sons Tony (Taura) Montella of St. George and Todd (Jeri) Montella of Blanding, nephews Richard (Katie) Brewster and Robert (Ruth) Brewster. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents Eugene and Arva Brewster, husband Frank Montella, brother Bob Brewster, and two grandchildren.
Card of Thanks:
The Montella family would like to thank everyone for the love and support shown to us during the loss of our loved one. A special thanks to Zion’s Way Hospice, Dr. LaGiglia, and the Huntsman Institute for the care they provided to Barbara during her fight with cancer. We’d also like to thank San Juan Mortuary, Steve and Susie Francom, and Taylor Francom for their loving assistance with her funeral preparations.