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1928 Joe Padilla Montoya 2024

Joe Padilla Montoya

August 26, 1928 — May 5, 2024


Joe Padilla Montoya, 95, passed away, Sunday, May 5, 2024 at the home of his daughter in Mesa, Arizona. He was born August 26, 1928 in McNary, Arizona, the son of Nicholas Montoya and Altagracia Padilla.

Joe’s early life was marked by the loss of his mother as the tender age of six; leaving him and his siblings to be raised by their devoted father. His family later relocated to St. Johns, Arizona where he completed his sophomore year of high school before embarking on a journey of hard work and dedication across various towns in Arizona.

His resilience and sense of duty led him to serve his country, bravely during the Korean War from 1950-1952, where he fought on the front lines as an Army Gunner. Upon returning from war Joe found love and companionship with Sophie Chavez, whom he married on January 21, 1956. Their union blessed them with three children, Nick Norma and Rebecca. Joe’s commitment to his family extended beyond words as he worked tirelessly for the Arizona State Highway Dept., retiring in 1987, ensuring the safety of travelers along the treacherous Salt River Canyon.

In 1969 Joe and Sophie settled in Springerville, Arizona where they built their cherished home and immersed themselves in the community. Joe’s dedication to service extended to St. Peter’s Parish where he sang in the choir for over 50 years, leaving an indelible mark on the congregation. Throughout his life, Joe’s warm spirit and unwavering kindness endeared him to all who knew him. He was a beacon of strength and positivity, exemplifying love and compassion in every interaction. Whether riding his bike around town or proudly donning his Korean War veteran cap, Joe touched the hearts of many and forged friendships wherever he went.

As we bid farewell to Joe, we honor his legacy of love, integrity and unwavering kindness. His presence will be deeply missed, but his spirit will live on in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him. Today we celebrate a life truly well lived, a life that touched countless souls and left an enduring mark on the world.

Joe is survived by his wife, Sophie C. Montoya, Springerville; son, Nick Montoya, Ft. Myers, Florida; daughters, Norma (Nathan) Howard, Tempe; Becky (Mike) Wolfskill, Mesa, 8 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Severo Montoya and sister, Maina Garcia.

Rosary will be held Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Springerville, followed by a funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow the services at the Springerville Cemetery.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, May 18, 2024

Starts at 9:30 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

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Funeral Mass

Saturday, May 18, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

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