OBITUARY

Monty J. Cartolano

January 1, 1953April 9, 2019

Monty James Cartolano was the first baby born on New Year’s Day 1953 in Gary, Indiana. A fact that even warranted him a special picture in the local newspaper at the time!

Monty spent his childhood in Merrillville, Indiana-- with some of his fondest memories being hanging around his dad or his uncles in the garage—fixing cars, getting his hands dirty, absorbing stories about anything and everything (as well as some very unfortunate jokes, which he would bestow upon his family and friends for years and years to come).

From these interactions he developed a bond to his Italian roots, his big personality, and a passion for cars that would ultimately evolve into a career.

In his early teenage years in 1968, Monty and his younger brother John got the news from their parents that they were packing up and heading west to Arizona.

Despite their resignation, they eventually settled in, landing jobs earlier than the “smaller” teenagers in Arizona, thanks to their swarthy, corn-fed Midwestern looks and stature. During this time the brothers also assisted their parents in several family-owned businesses after school.

True to the Cartolano family entrepreneurial spirit, Monty’s knowledge of cars and how to repair them led him to create his own business – in which he spent the rest of his life buying, repairing and selling vehicles.

Monty was boisterous…loud…stubborn…on your side in a heartbeat if ever you complained to him, and always armed with a wacky joke or two—or ten (“What did the headless horseman say to his shrink? – I ain’t got no-BODY”). He could talk your ear off about the same things repeatedly, but he could also listen to your problems and commiserate without judgement.

His interests were as colorful and as varied as he was. He had multiple collections of things that mattered to him, such as a wall of license plates from (nearly) every state. He owned several hearses. His favorite way to relax included laying on the floor by the TV watching horror movies or old Twilight Zone episodes with his dog. He loved a good steak, regular (not diet!) soda, and going to Sonic for “taters” (of which he would also get a separate order for his dog). He enjoyed Ebay a little too much. He loved talking on the phone to his friends, cousins, and going to his friend’s shop to help out and socialize. He also very much enjoyed joking around with his brother, sister-in-law, his nieces and nephews & their children. In turn, he was often the subject of practical jokes, such as when his nephew buried some strategically placed Skittles in his mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. If something went wrong in Monty’s life, it was most frequently the fault of someone that likely “drove a Harley & smoked a crack pipe”. His family will no doubt always remember these sacred words.

On the flip side, and last but certainly not least—anyone who knew Monty knew about his intense love of dogs. He was fiercely protective & passionate about dogs of all kinds—but especially the ones he had owned over the years. Even the thought of a deceased pet could bring tears to his eyes, and those moments were when Monty’s good heart was most clear, open and visible. He spoke at every turn about his animals—“Sarge is ma’ son… I’m gonna take him out to chase girl dogs and drink beer”. He often told his family “If there are no dogs in Heaven, I don’t know if I want to go”.

On the morning of April 9, 2019, Monty had several heart attacks that he was not able to be revived from, and he went to be with his Maker at 10:07am. He now comprehends (with much happiness) that God would never allow a Heaven with no dogs.

He is survived by his brother John and his wife Kristi, four nieces & nephews (John Cartolano III, Gabrielle Wood [Truman], Andrea Sandry [Eric], and Michael Cartolano—as well as multiple grandnieces and grandnephews. Monty had two estranged daughters, Diana & Melissa. He also leaves behind his beloved Rottweiler, Sarge. He was preceeded in death by his father and mother, John & Marie Cartolano-- as well as his beloved dog, Penny.

Monty will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 1PM in Resthaven Park Cemetery next to his parents.

Services

  • Graveside Service Saturday, April 13, 2019
REMEMBERING

Monty J. Cartolano

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Mike and Debi Ward

April 14, 2019

Our families were friends in Green Acres (Merrillville, Indiana) for many years until their family moved to Arizona.
So many fun memories of our Moms' Bowling team, and our Dads' into the Corvairs and Camaros! They always had great festivities for all the holidays, Italian Style, with all their family. When they put on the fireworks display, it was like something no one has ever seen before in a backyard! American flag fireworks and all, so big that the fire department was on call! I remember Monty getting a scooter, the envy of the neighborhood. The families kept in touch throughout the years, with 2,000 miles between us. When we visited them in Phoenix, Monty was working at a pizza place and we ate pizza and the fantastic Italian food of Marie.
We reconnected when we visited Phoenix, as newlyweds, and Monty and Johnny talked us into moving there. We were so determined to do it we left our car there and flew back to Indiana. We lived there for several years as the Cartolanos adopted us! Monty was our tour guide, showing us all the cool places to go. Papago Park, the zoo, day trips to the balloon races, Salt River for tubing,
Minder Binders. He stopped by our apartment every afternoon on his way to work and inevitably fell alseep on our floor. We stopped by their house frequently at night for coffeecake or some special Italian pastry that John would bring. When visiting later, Monty helped us when Marie taught us her Italian Christmas recipes. Funniest was when we went to the movies with Monty. He loved the movies and collected them. He would laugh so loud it was a little embarrassing.
But...that was Monty, he loved to laugh and tell jokes! He always had a smile on his face. His mom, Marie always said her boys were know for smiling, even as babies.
Monty, we know you are smiling down on us, alongside your family and pooches just eating a peach pie. Thanks for the fun memories, you enriched our lives!

Michele DiGiovanni

April 12, 2019

Michele DiGiovanni

April 12, 2019

Dear John and Family,

Please accept my heartfelt sympathies for the loss of Monty. I have so many fond memories of when we were kids and you lived in Indiana. I was happy that Monty got to make a trip up here in 2008 to see us and visit my parents. He and I talked frequently and I will surely miss his late night phone calls because he'd never remember about the time change! We'd talk about old times and laugh and sometimes cry.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this time and always.


Monty,
I will miss you. I know you are in a better place; free from worry, free from pain.
Until I see you again...

Love your cousin,
Michele (DiGiovanni)

KRISTI CARTOLANO

April 12, 2019

KRISTI CARTOLANO

April 12, 2019

KRISTI CARTOLANO

April 12, 2019

KRISTI CARTOLANO

April 12, 2019

KRISTI CARTOLANO

April 12, 2019

KRISTI CARTOLANO

April 12, 2019

KRISTI CARTOLANO

April 12, 2019

FROM THE FAMILY