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Benjamin Franklin Montoya

1935 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Benjamin Franklin Montoya Obituary
Montoya, Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin Montoya was born in Indio, California on May 24th, 1935 to Benjamin and Margaret Montoya. He graduated from Coachella Valley Union High School in 1953 and attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA before entering the US Naval Academy where he graduated in 1958.

The day after graduation from the Academy he married his high school sweetheart, Virginia Cox, also of Indio, California. Happily married for 57 years, Ben and Ginney raised five sons and two daughters who blessed them with 17 grandchildren.

Ben's naval career spanned 32 years. Beginning with a tour in Vietnam, he rose through the ranks to become Chief of the Civil Engineer Corps. He retired in 1989 with the rank of Rear Admiral. In addition to his Naval Academy education, Ben also received master's degrees in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Georgia Institute of Technology and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown School of Law. After the Navy, Ben pursued a civilian career in the utility industry, first as a Senior Vice President with PG&E and then as President and CEO of PNM (New Mexico's major utility), from which he retired in 2000.

Ben also served on various boards (corporate, governmental and charitable), including the National Parks Foundation, the California Board of Education, NASA and the 1995 Base Closure Commission. Of all of his many awards and recognitions, he was most proud of being nominated by his classmates and selected by the USNA Alumni Association as a 2008 Distinguished Graduate of the Naval Academy.

In 2013 Ben was diagnosed with cancer, and for two years fought it successfully and continued to enjoy a full life of retirement. In October of this year the cancer became untreatable. Ben passed quietly into the presence of his Savior in the company of his family on December 19th at 8:45pm. He is survived by his wife, Ginney; children Ben, Chris, Pat, Mike, Dave, Terri and Natasha, plus 17 grandchildren. He leaves two brothers, Arthur and Santiago (Jim). He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Richard.

Ben had a strong but quiet faith that he reaffirmed at key points in his life. More than all of his many career accomplishments, he deeply touched the lives of many and will be greatly missed.

Funeral services will be held at noon on January 6th at Sacred Heart Church of Palm Desert in Palm Desert, CA.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the:

Diamond Anniversary


CEC/Seabee Historical


PO Box 657

Gulfport, MS 39502-0657

Go Navy! Beat Army!
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Dec. 27, 2015
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