Raymond Leo Montavon passed away at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. He was 82.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013, at St. Patrick’s Church, 235 Chapel St., Grass Valley. Father Julito will be officiating.
Leo was born in Sublette, Ill., Jan. 2, 1931, to Raymond Louis and Marguerite Anna (Finn) Montavon. He attended grade school and high school in Amboy, Ill. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Lorus College in Dubuque, Iowa, transferring to Northern Illinois University the following year. He interrupted his studies to enlist in the Air Force in late 1951. Following his service in the Air Force, he resumed and completed his education at Northern Illinois University.
After graduation, he pursued a career in accounting and completed studies to earn his Certified Public Accounting credential. His accounting career included positions with Price Waterhouse, Florida Gas Transmission and the Orlando Sentinel. In July 1975, while traveling in Eastern Europe, Leo met Grass Valley local Kathleen Santelli in Warsaw, Poland. They were married June 24, 1978. This precipitated a change of location and occupation for Leo. He moved to the foothills area and purchased the Travel Place in Grass Valley, operating the business until 1989.
During and following these years in the travel industry, Leo and Kathy were able to visit and experience the cultures and diversity of many foreign countries. These travels served to enhance Leo’s interest in the world around him and his desire to stay well informed both locally and globally. Additionally, Leo had a great interest in sports and followed them closely. He always maintained a warm place in his heart for all animals and showed them great compassion. Leo was a longtime and faithful member of St. Patrick’s Church in Grass Valley. He was an honorable, generous and humble man who was deeply loved and who will be sorely missed.
He is survived by his wife, Kathleen, of Grass Valley; sister Marylee Zachwieja of Hoffman Estates, Ill.; sons R. Lee (Sandi) Montavon of Orlando and Phillip Alan Montavon of Clearwater, Fla.; and grandson Patrick Lee Montavon of Orlando.
Leo is preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Marguarite, and his older sister, DeLores Schnable, in 2008.
Contributions can be made to Animal Save, 520 E. Main St., Grass Valley, CA 95945, or the charity of your choice.