Our beloved husband, father, son, brother, and a loyal friend, Carlos Luis Montaño, passed away on Sunday, December 27, 2020 at the age of 46.
Carlos leaves behind his wife Ofelia Muñoz Montaño; their children: Adrian, Alfredo, Angel, Giancarlo; his three oldest boys in Illinois: Gabriel (14), Daniel (13), Benjamin (12); parents: Carmen Leyba Montaño, Tommy Montaño; brother Tomás, his children: PhyaLily, Lennon, and Emmylou; sister Vanessa Tungate, her husband Mike, and their children: Maddy and Joel.
Carlos was raised in the lovely and verdant Peñasco Valley. Peñasco Valley is located within the Sangre de Cristo mountains. He was raised amongst a tight-knit Catholic community, always surrounded by family, his northern New Mexico traditions, culture, the streams, llanos, and creatures of the mountain valley he grew up in.
As a child Carlos spent his time with his mom, dad, brother, sister, friends, neighbors, and cousins riding his bicycle at the nearby high school, picking piñon at the “P” and in the hills north of the valley, ice skating on the frozen acequia behind his grandmother Sofia’s house, hand fishing in the Rio Santa Barbara, and participating in intense bouts of chokecherry, snowball, and spit-ball wars from Ojo Sarco and Chamisal, all the way to Rodarte and Llano San Juan. He achieved the prestigious title of Spitball Master Soggy, better know as “Sogs” by his closest friends. Carlos was fond of all God’s creatures and was known to show compassion for every kind of animal. He was especially protective of his two dogs Duke and Chubs. His childhood dream was to become a veterinarian.
Carlos attended St. Anthony’s Parochial Elementary and Peñasco Jr./Sr. High School. He graduated from Peñasco High School in May, 1993. He was an active parishioner of St. Anthony’s Church throughout his childhood. He participated as an altar boy, Peregrino, search member, and as a summer charismatic youth group member. Carlos was a gifted athlete, and played soccer, baseball, and cross country as a child. Many evenings Carlos would spend hours with his father and siblings playing catch at the high school baseball field. Most of his childhood was dedicated to honing in his formidable skills of his life-long passion toward the game of basketball. He played varsity for PHS beginning his freshman year and became a star player early on in his sophomore year. Carlos was always a thrill to watch—with his sticky hands, his evasive ball-handling, and “magic” moves. But most of all with his crowd-stopping three point shot. He was chosen to play in the North-South All Star game in 1993. Carlos was an avid fan of professional football and basketball. He was a die-hard Lakers and Steelers fan.
Carlos served in the United States Air Force from 1995-1999. He was an Avionics Electronics Technician, specializing as a technician on the Rockwell B1 Lancer a.k.a. B1 Bomber. He achieved the rank of Senior Airman. He served his four years in Texas at Lackland, Sheppard and Dyess Air Force Bases, respectively.
Carlos’ three sons from a prior marriage, Gabriel, Daniel, and Benjamin were his beloved pride and joy and he thought of them every single day up until his passing. Carlos met his wife, Ofelia, in 2016 and they were married in May of that year. Ofelia’s three boys from a prior marriage, her entire family, including her own mother Emerita, grandparents Juanita and Alberto, brother Pablo, as well as many aunts, uncles, nephews, and nieces endeared themselves to him. It was their tight-knit community and unconditional love and inclusiveness which in Carlos’s own words, “gave me the best five years of my life”.
Carlos was a kind and compassionate soul. He was known for his sense of humor, honesty, and strong dedication to all his family and friends. Carlos was a devout Catholic. He dreamt of someday marrying his wife in the Catholic church so they could together partake of the Sacraments. He would sometimes join in to pray the rosary in Spanish with Ofelia, Emerita, and their boys.
He will be missed dearly.
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