MURRAY - Jose Montes died peacefully Tuesday, June 30, 2009, in Murray with his loving family by his side.
He was born June 10, 1921 in El Paso, Texas, the son of Cecilio Montes and Guadalupe Vaca. He spent his childhood and was educated in Carbon County.
He served in the U.S. Army during WWII, fought in the Battle of Normandy and was a decorated veteran. On June 10, 1950, he married Naida Littlejohn Hyatt. Together, they adopted four children and have been blessed with 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
He was an accomplished jeweler, general manager for Zales Jewelers, and he later owned his own jewelry store. He met his bride of 59 years when she came in to have the clasp fixed on her pearls.
He then sold his store and owned and operated both the Strand and Bonnie movie theaters in Helper for a time. He then became highly respected in the auto sales industry, working at reputable dealerships.
Jose was an avid golfer, tennis player and swimmer most of his life until the effects of macular degeneration robbed him of his eyesight.
He was a devoted husband, a proud father and grandfather and, according to his grandchildren, "the best d --- grandfather ever."
He is survived by his wife of 59 years; his children, Diane and Gage Hartman; Penny Schwestka; and David Littlejohn; his sister, Avelina Perez de Navarro, and her sons, George and Louis; his grandchildren, Bill and his daughter, Sylvia; Bob and his daughter, Kimberly; Tricia and her children, Bryce, Elli, Lynise, Cheyenne and Tatum; Michael; Dusty; Angie and Rob and their children, Jasiah, Brianna, Dylan and Brayden; Amy and her son, Terrence; Anna; Emily and Cody and their daughter, Cameryn; Natalie and Scott and their children, Lauren and Garrett; Katja; and Andre. He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Pamela, and her husband, Dave DeLange.
A memorial service will be Friday, July 10, at 1:30 p.m. at Garner Funeral Home, 1001 11th Avenue, Salt Lake City.