Our beloved father, grandfather, dear friend and Knight of Columbus, Fredrick Joseph Montoya of Taylorsville, Utah, died October 21, 2023, surrounded by his loving family.
Fred was born to Antonio and Margaret Montoya on October 7, 1939, in his grandparents’ house on Jackson Avenue in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was raised with his little brother Tony on 800 South State Street in Salt Lake City. He attended Lincoln Jr. High and South High School, graduating in 1957. After graduation, Fred joined the US Army and was assigned to the 54th Infantry, 4th Armor Division in Fort Hood, Texas.
At the height of the Cold War in 1958, the entire 4th Armor Division was deployed from Fort Hood to West Germany. Fred’s unit was stationed in Heilbronn, and he became an “Occupation GI”. Soon wanting a change, he volunteered for Army Airborne School and became a paratrooper with the 504th Parachute Infantry, 1st Airborne Battle Group, 8th Infantry Division stationed in Germany. He loved parachuting as a civilian skydiver and as a paratrooper, earning his Army Senior Parachutist Wings.
Then came the Sunday while returning from a weekend pass in Heidelberg. Fred met a beautiful, young German fräulein named Irene Kohs on the return train to base. They were married on August 25, 1960, in Heilbronn, Germany, in 1961 their son, Michael Joseph, was born in Bad-Canstatt, Germany. The family lived in Heilbronn until Fred was posted to Fort Ord, California, where their daughter, Teresa Jane, was born in 1962.
Fred finished his enlistment as a Staff Sergeant and returned to Salt Lake with his new family in 1964. He was hired at Kennecott Copper, and as a third-generation employee, worked at Kennecott for 36 years, retiring in 2000.
Fred loved the outdoors, especially the mountains. He was a keen hunter, fisherman and rifle shot. Fishing and hunting were year-round pursuits for Fred. And he always made sure there were summer family vacations. Be it in a Volkswagen bus or a truck and camper, the family could be traveling through the western states, Canada, or sometimes just to Strawberry Reservoir or Fish Lake for a weekend getaway.
As the family grew up, he shifted his outdoor pursuits to fish woodcarving, winning several awards for his artwork and wildlife scenery. Grandchildren were Fred’s pride and joy. He loved and valued his time with his three grandkids and made sure they had experiences to remember for a lifetime.
A member of the Catholic Church, Fred joined the Knights of Columbus in 2004. A Fourth Degree Knight, he served as both a Grand Knight and State Council District Deputy for four years. He was able to attend 7 Supreme Conventions held throughout the United States and Canada. Fred was always willing to sell dinner and raffle tickets to support Knight charities. He also sold advertisements each year for the state convention. During his years of membership, Fred personally raised thousands of dollars for charity. He was always on the lookout for those in need and greeted everyone with his infectious smile. He was always happy to see you!
Fred was preceded in death by his wife “und Oma” Irene, in 2008. He is survived by his son Michael, daughter Teresa, grandchildren Thomas (Krisztina), Jessica, Jennifer, and brother Anthony.
A visitation will be held Wednesday, November 1, 2023, from 10-10:45 am at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church on 4914 South 2200 West, Taylorsville. A funeral mass will follow at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Valley View Memorial Park Cemetery, 4335 West, 4100 South, West Valley City.
In place of flowers please consider donating in Fred’s memory to: The Knights of Columbus Patriotic Scholarship, c/o St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church.