Benjamin Lawrence Montoya
Benjamin Lawrence Montoya, 92, of Poteau died Sunday, March 3, 2013 in Poteau. Ben was born Feb. 6, 1921 in Colorado Springs, Colo., the seventh son of Thomas Daniel and Mary Louisa (Gutierrez) Montoya. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers. As an infant Ben moved to Ventura, Calif., where he attended grade school, high school and college. During WWII he worked in the CCC and in an airplane factory in Los Angeles. There he met and married Wilma Gardenia Sparks in 1945. To this marriage was born two children, Mary Amelia and Benjamin Lawrence Jr. Wilma preceded Ben in death in 1960. In 1966 Ben met and married Shirley Rae Morgan. Shirley came into this marriage with two children, Zenda Diane and Carlton Ray. Ben adopted and loved them as his own. Ben retired from Meade Containers in Fort Smith, Ark. He also spent most of his life serving as a minister in the Church of Christ. He served the Heavener Church of Christ for 20 years. Ben leaves behind his wife, Shirley of the home; daughters, Mary Amelia Waddell and husband John of Curryville, Mo., Zenda Adams of Poteau and two sons, Benjamin Lawrence and wife Dani of Poteau and Carlton of Poteau. He leaves five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Ben loved his family, traveling and serving his Savior. He was loved and respected by brothers-in-law, sisters in law, nieces, nephews and many friends. He will be greatly missed. A memorial service will be held at 2 pm, Wednesday, March 6, at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, with brother-in-law Franklin Morgan of Greenville, Texas, officiating, assisted by Bro. Don Cherry. Donations may be made to the Maverick Nixon Benefit at the Poteau Church of Christ.Arrangements are under the direction of Evans and Miller Funeral Home.