Lt. Col. (Ret.) Olgert Vincent Monto passed away peacefully early Wednesday morning, May 14, 2014, at his home in Biloxi, Miss., at the age of 79. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He and his wife, Judith, would have celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary on June 15, 2014.
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Lt. Col. Vince Monto was born in Wilkes-Barre, to Adam and Margaret Monto. He was the youngest of 10 children. He graduated from the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial High School and entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. A talented athlete in all sports, he played football for Navy. His hard-hitting style as fullback earned him the name "Monster" and helped Navy win the Sugar Bowl in 1955. The Navy team was nicknamed "The Team Named Desire" after the New Orleans streetcar and won against Ole Miss.
After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1957, Vince entered the U.S. Air Force, where he became a navigator on B-52 Stratofortresses during the Cold War and AC-130 Gunships during the Vietnam War. He achieved the rating of master navigator.
He earned a master's degree at Arizona State and taught mathematics for five years at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Spring, Colo. While there, he met Judith and they were married in 1968.
After serving in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, he was transferred to Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Miss. Vince continued to serve until he retired in 1978. After retirement, he continued to teach all levels of math classes at the Keesler campus' of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Jeff Davis Junior College as an adjunct instructor.
Vince was an avid gardener and found great joy in planting, cultivating and sharing his garden. Throughout his life, he also enjoyed golf, football and baseball.
Lt. Col. Monto was preceded in death by his parents, Adam and Margaret Monto; brothers, Vito, Leonard and George; and sisters, Aldona Monto, Anne Norosky and Dolores Dourand.
He is survived by his loving wife, Judith; children, Lt. Col. Christine (Frank) Millard, Major Michael (Casie) Monto, and Suzanne (Joshua) Frost; grandchildren, Leia Millard, Theodore Monto and Amelie Frost; sisters, Ruth Purdy, Caroline Hughes and Marion Mitchell; sisters-in-law, Eleanor Monto, Rita Monto and Gladys Monto; and many nephews and nieces.
Funeral services were held at the Bethel Lutheran Church, 2521 Pass Road, Biloxi, Miss., on May 21, 2014. Interment was in the Biloxi National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations made to Bethel Lutheran Church or the Bethel Free Health Clinic, 1650 Carrol Drive, Biloxi, MS 39531.
The Pass Road Chapel of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
View and sign register book at www.bradfordokeefe.com.
Published in Citizens' Voice on June 22, 2014