Ernest Jesus Montoya Sr., 54, passed away in the line of duty on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in Dilkon. Please join us as we celebrate his life. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Dec. 6, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Holbrook. Interment was at the Holbrook Cemetery.
He was born on Nov. 4, 1960, in Holbrook to Felix and Mary Montoya.
Survivors include his wife, Gloria S. Montoya of Holbrook; his children, Victoria (Mathew) Philpott of Holbrook, Ernest (Tamera) Montoya Jr. of Joseph City, Nicholas (Melissa) Montoya of Holbrook, Kaitlynn and Trent Montoya of Ganado, and Tyler Montoya of Dilkon; his sisters, Esther Bazan of Holbrook, Christina Petzold of Phoenix and Eleanor Chavez of Grants, N.M.; his brothers, Felix Montoya of Show Low, Bernie Montoya of Joseph City, Juan Montoya of Holbrook, Albert Montoya Jr. of Holbrook and Manuel Montoya of Peoria; and his grandchildren, Ethan Montoya of Joseph City, and Dustin and Elena Philpott of Holbrook.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Felix and Mary Montoya; his brother, Albert Montoya Sr.; his sister, Esther Montoya; and his granddaughter, Kimberly Montoya.
Ernest graduated from Holbrook High School in 1979. During school he worked for the Holbrook Tribune-News and the Roxy Theater. He married his high school sweetheart, Gloria Montoya, on March 2, 1981.
He was working as a security officer for APS, then in 1993, he joined the Navajo Nation Police Academy. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the Dilkon Police Department. He served as an accident and reconstructive investigator. He was a certified instructor and trainer in active shooting, tactical tracker, domestic violence, track radar, children safety seat and pursuit stick, and a police general instructor. and an instructor for the D.A.R.E program.
He enjoyed playing sports with his friends and family. He was an avid chess player, often challenging many of his friends and family to a game of chess or a game of bowling. He was a part of the next generation and loved his Star Trek. During a family vacation in Las Vegas he enjoyed the moment when he sat in the Star Trek Captain’s Chair at the Hilton.
His passion was his family, friends and children. He loved to make you laugh and often joked with individuals just to put a smile on their face. He enjoyed traveling and the various casinos. Each year he enjoyed participating in the Toys for Tots program. Most of all, he loved his job, protecting and serving the Navajo Nation for 20 years.
Greer’s Mortuary of Winslow was in charge of the arrangements.