Ramon C. Montez, 91, of Fort Worth passed away Dec. 15, 2011.
Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, at St. Rita Catholic Church, 5550 E. Lancaster Ave. in Fort Worth, Texas, with rosary at 7 p.m. Friday at Lucas Sylvania Funeral Chapel.
Ramon was born in Ruidosa, Presidio County, on Jan. 25, 1920, the son of Dionicio “Nieho” Montez and Isabel Canava. When he was very young, his mother brought him to Marfa, where he spent most of his young life with his mother and later his grandmother, Ros Quintana.
As a teenager in the 1930s, Ramon worked for a year-and-a-half in the Civilian Conservations Corps (CCC) Camps in the Big Bend Country and New Mexico, planting trees, building dams and working on roads. In Big Spring, he worked odd jobs and as a handyman before landing a job with the Southern Pacific Railroad, which had a line from El Paso to San Antonio running through Marfa.
In December 1940, Ramon married Alicia Alvarez in Marfa. In 1944, the family — then with three children — moved to Big Spring, where Ramon first worked for a roofing company owned by John Underwood, then for an airport and farm, both owned by Mr. Underwood. He later began operating his own roofing business, getting referrals from the lumber yards in Big Spring.
In late 1952, after some years of little rain and little roofing work in Big Spring, Ramon moved his family to El Centro, Calif., where he and Alice picked grapes and vegetables. Ramon then found work with a roofing company. It was so hot in El Centro the roofers' workday was from 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. After a few months of that, the family moved at the urging of a Big Spring friend to Fresno, Calif., where Ramon continued doing roofing.
Ramon was intending to stay in California, but he returned to Big Spring in 1954 to sell the house he had built in 1949 and move the family's things to California. At that time, he found a project building 500 homes was underway and there was a need for roofers. Ramon was hired as a foreman. Work on the project lasted about 3 years. Ramon then operated his own roofing business in Big Spring for the next 42 years.
Ramon was hard-working all his life and very sociable, easily entering into conversation with people he encountered prior to suffering a stroke on Dec. 5, 2010. Ramon was used to being in supervisory positions as a foreman or a business owner.
Ramon is survived by a daughter, Isabel (Pau) Menge; and sons, Ramon A. Montez and Joe A. (Iris) Montez, all of Fort Worth; grandchildren, Henry (Julie) Vasquez of Kemp, Alice Diaz of Terrell, Steve (Glyn) Vasquez of Mansfield, Helen (Burt) Mains of Waxahachie, Annie (Marcus) Daub of The Colony, Naomi Montez of Dallas, Soccoro (Brian) Jones of Mesquite, Lena (Fernando) Adame of Fort Worth and Joe H. Montez of Fort Worth; 15 great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandchild; and by a dear friend, Gloria (Goia) Gonzalez of Big Spring.