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Steve Montion Jr's Online Memorial Photo

Memorial Curator

Memorial Biography

Steve Montion Jr.'s Eulogy

written by his family

presented by Denny Rubianes

on 12/5/2011 at St. Michael's Catholic Church

 

Steve Montion Jr was born in San Francisco to Juanita and Steve Montion, Senior.  With his dad being born in Guadalajara, Mexico,  he was taught to be proud of his Mexican heritage at a very young age and taught his kids the same.

While attending Linden High School;  Steve met the love of his life, Dolores Mamaril.  Steve was a handsome 'fly by the seat of his pants' basketball star and Dolores was a stunning and intelligent basketball homecoming queen.  (It was like a movie James Dean would have starred in...)  Steve and Dolores married right out of high school and welcomed their first child, Dolores Michele Montion in 1966.  Very soon after, Angela and Stephanie were born and the 3 girls called themselves 'Steve's Angels' -at the time,   the original TV series 'Charlie's Angel's' was the happening show... It wouldn't be until the girls were teen and pre-teen that his son, Steve Christoffer Montion III would join the girls -what a unique and fortunate family...

Steve was a proud man; honorable and trusting.  Besides raising his four kids, he was asked to be godfather to Eric Garnica, Samantha Mamaril, Rudy Mamaril, Justin Abrescy and Danny Maria.

Steve worked very hard to provide for his family.  He declined several opportunities for advancement at the railroad because he wanted to be his kids coach, year after year.  Just Before starting his career of over 35 years at the railroad, Steve was a professional tile setter in San Francisco (or as he referred to it 'the city').  he called ALL of his jobs 'custom' as he was somewhat of a 'creative perfectionist'...  in later years, With Dolores by his side 'mixing cement and rinsing his sponges' Steve would lay wood floors or tile floors and tile counters at homes that many of YOU live in today -he did it as a 'side job' for extra cash for his family, but it was also an enjoyable hobby for him...  Steve and Dolores were a perfect team...

Although he was such a hard worker, Steve ALWAYS wanted to be with his kids:  He would chauffeur his 3 very young daughters Michele, Angela and Stephanie on many back-to-school shopping sprees in San Francisco, dropping them off at the long lines at the outlets, then driving in circles for hours while they shopped -when he picked them up, he'd often point out a corner where his dad once owned a bar or where he had laid tile... Whether it was the girls' shopping spree as kids, or a theater trip to see a chick flick as adults -he was always game.  Even before Christoffer was born, there was no such thing as a 'girl's trip' -the girls always wanted Steve there and he aways wanted to be there...

As youngsters, Michele, Angela and Stephanie would try to dress Steve up like Rocky -yes, that's Sylvester Stallone's, very cool Rocky Balboa in Rocky III...   Steve had the beret, leather jacket and wool-lined gloves  -  not sure if he really loved it but he was cool enough to pull it off and he was game to dress the part for them, because he knew they worshiped him...

Steve, in turn, liked to dress up Dolores -every Christmas Eve, he would call the girls from the mall asking their mom's sizes!  Then he'd come home with ALL these packages for them to wrap for him to give to her on Christmas Day-some would be sweaters and stuff that DID look good on her but she probably would have never bought herself -then there was the year he bought her the foxtail wrap thingy -again, not sure if she loved it but she wore it proudly.

By the time the girls were moving out, Christoffer and Steve and Dolores were 'joined by the hip' and referred to as the 'three amigos' by the family.   They were together constantly -usually golfing -but ALWAYS having a good time...

Chris and Steve did many projects together but building Chris's orange 1970 Camaro was one of Chris's most memorable.  Steve and Chris learned the mechanics of the sports car together.  Steve taught all his kids to 'use their surroudings', one day when the Camaro broke down (on the way to one of Chris' Linden golf matches), Chris decided to 'use his surroundings' as he took the shoe string out of his golf cleats to get the throttle on the car going again -sounds like a classic Steve Montion move -again, being a 'creative perfectionist'...

Steve would coach just about anything his kids were interested in and make them the very best at whatever it was.  He said he wanted them to enjoy the feeling of being a champion, just as he had as an athlete.  In Steve's Youth, the only sport that he did not excel in was in basebell;  Steve said that when he was coaching the girls, he could only teach hitting but not actually do it himself.  But then at 30 years old, he KNEW he was so much better and stronger, that he went back, tried out, and made the Cal Mex team and achieved his goal by pitching in the league and eventually hitting a homerun over the fence.

Steve wasn't afraid to push his kids to the limit (and put many referees that he crossed paths with, in their  place at Michele's softball games)  Michele remembers his constant coaching "humm it in there, Mija!"  She said her friends thought her name was 'mija'  Steve would catch for all 4 kids as all 4 were softball and baseball pitchers at one time or another -he'd catch for them, pitching and pitching  at him until his skinny shins were covered in bruises and the duck tape on his softball glove was burning thru the leather and into his palm.  Even in the rain, he'd open the garage so that he would stay covered and dry and they'd pitch to him from the street.  He'd also take chris to the driving range a whole HOUR before each round to warm up for their 4 hour round -he was like that energizer bunny that keeps going and going and going...

Steve would continue to teach and train his grandkids from the sideline.   He'd give tips to his granddaughter Sally Bryson.  Sally is the PERFECT swimmer, who he LOVED to watch compete.  Steve would give her tips on how to workout so that she could be even faster... Also, his granddaughter Sara Bryson, a very young competitive volleyball player; Steve would give her workout tips so that she could  jump higher.  One afternoon recently, Steve suggested a multi-vitamin to help Sara get stronger since she enjoyed working out so much-not sure if Sara liked the idea of the vitamins  but with the love and respect she and her sisters had for their Pappa Steve, Sara asked her mom to get some vitamins for her...

Steve's grandson, Chandler Marquez will especially miss his Pappa's golf advice and regular "on the course" lessons.  Every trip that Chandler made to Stockton, he'd make sure Stephanie would fit his golf clubs in the Tahoe hoping to golf with Pappa and Lolly.  He'd call Lolly and Pappa reminding them that he was coming.  As usual, Steve's competitive nature rubs off and Chandler tries his hardest every time to beat pappa Steve -but he only has luck beating grandma Lolly...

While grandson Noah Marquez plays most of his sports so far away, down in La Jolla, it was quite an event for him if Lolly and Pappa were able to make it to his soccer games.  He'd put forth extra effort to impress his grandfather by making goals and always looking back to make sure that pappa Steve saw the goal that he made!

Besides the Montion kids and grandkids, Steve spent years formally coaching his many nephews and nieces in various sports;  Jeremy Powers, Letitia Emerson, Josh, Nick and Samantha Mamaril, and even his brother-in-law Robert Mamaril as a teenage baseball player...  Even after Christoffer left CYO basketball at St. Michael's Church after 4 years, Steve continued to coach another 5 years, mentoring young boys and passing on his words of wisdom.  He did this so well, that he was even asked by one of his players to be a confirmation sponsor;  he was honored.  He just had SO much to share and he was recognized and loved for that...

Steve enjoyed watching professional sports with his son-in-laws Joey and Dan; he made it pretty easy to get to know him with small talk about boxing, the SF 49ers, SF Giants or Sacramento Kings...  Angela's husband Dan would usually remind him of a big fight coming up, taking a wager if offered, and Michele's husband Joey would usually rent it for the family to watch -turning even a professional sporting event into a family evening at home...

It was especially when Michele and Joey were next door neighbors to Steve and Dolores, Joey and Steve would have many neighborly conversations at 'the hedge'  - "borrowing" tools and sharing gossip...  Michele would often call them 'gossip girls'...

When it came to handyman work around the house, Steve had a mind of his own and could do anything.  And I mean anything... with Dolores by his side, he wasn't even afraid to 'move a wall' -yes, a 'wall'...  And although he raised 3 daughters and a son, he enjoyed teaching the girls just as much handyman-fix-it stuff as he did his son.   Steve and Dolores recently decided to build a 2nd home in Carlsbad; Steve's son-in-law, Dan helped out and again, Steve found someone to share his talents with.  Most of the time he liked to just do things himself but just being around Steve, Dan would appreciate and envy his knowledge and talents...

Steve and Dolores loved babysitting their grandkids, this was fortunate for Noah because sometimes, they'd take him to a movie -not for one movie -but two movies in the same afternoon; with dining out for lunch beforehand and dining out for dinner after and getting just about anything he wanted in between... He was the perfect grandpa...

Dolores and Steve were each other's best friends for 49 years -It was obvious that he would go out of his way to make her happy.  And Steve's kids, besides having loving, respectable and FUN father/daughter, father/son relationships, were also MORE than "good buddies" with Steve.   As a family they had some of their best times at  their annual summer family trips to North Lake Tahoe; enjoying Steve's boat and the beach.. bbq-ing, cocktailing and of course playing golf as much as possible..

On a regular basis:

Michele kept Steve entertained and up to date with the latest movies she thought would be HIS 'cup a tea' -even if some weren't her favorites...

Angela would turn her kitchen upside down to make the very best dinner for Steve with  his favorite filet mignon when he visited San Diego (even though he would be just as happy with a good burger -as long as there was going to be dessert served...)

Stephanie would bring peach pies home in the middle of the night on her long working road trips to Stockton every chance she got.

& Christoffer would clear the golf course for Steve every single time he came to Carlsbad to visit -Even at the end, at the age of 65, steve could still give his son, Chris, the PGA "pro", a run for his money thru 18 holes at any country club.

The kids did these simple little things for Steve knowing that he would move mountains for them  24 hours a day 7 days a week -

With the news that pappa Steve didn't make it, his grandson, Chandler was flipping through photo albums, Chandler said, 'Pappa is eating in ALL these pictures!'.... That is something that Steve's granddaughter, Sadie Bryson will also miss -Pappa Steve's goodies (usually Twinkies, Zingers and Nutty bars)... Steve would love to see the excitement in Sadie's bashful face when he would show her what goodies he had in stock that day... Steve lived in the moment and sometimes for the simplest things in life....

The past 2 weeks were the most shocking and scariest for Steve's family, ending in their ultimate nightmare with his passing; they really thought he was that unlikely 10% survivor.  Not only was a dedicated husband and dad lost but Dolores's Best friend and and a "good buddy" to Michele, Angela, Stephanie and Christoffer.

Michele will miss her dad's advice on handling her husband Joey and raising her 3 daughters.  She'll miss organizing the family gathering when the next pay-per-view fight comes on.  She'll miss watching Steve try to mold Sally, Sara and Sadie into respectable young ladies and MVP athletes.

Angela will miss trying to beat her dear ol' dad on the golf course (he DID put that competitive drive in her blood after all)... She'll miss having her dad swing her around on the dance floor like nobody else at the next big family reception....but most of all she says that her big family dinners in San Diego will never be the same.

Stephanie will miss wondering what pappa Steve will be teaching Chandler and Noah the next time they stayed with him while she was at work.  She'll miss her conversations with her dad on their rides to and from the airport when she comes in to town for work.  He'd ask about everything in her life from Steph's boys to all the family current events going on.  They'd catch up on everything that had happened since her last trip to Stockton....

Christoffer will miss working on his classic Camaro with Steve, sharing his newest golf techniques with his dad.... but most of all, introducing his dad to his children some day and having his dad there on his wedding day....

Dolores is wondering how she can live the rest of her life without Steve... she will miss his quirky, but cool and humorous personality; his very proud demeanor and his loving ways.

At this moment Steve's death is NOT understood by his wife and kids; the only thing understood is that Steve is in heaven and although they don't believe he wanted to be ANYWHERE without them, they know he is painfree and at peace...