Martha Jane Montany
1924 - 2020
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Martha Jane (Pfanz) Montany, 95, peacefully passed at her Manchester home Monday, May 4, 2020, family by her side. She was born Aug. 21, 1924, in Columbus, Ohio, one of a set of identical twins to Harry and Marion (Wilcox) Pfanz, and grew up on the family farm in Bexley, Ohio, among numerous extended families during the Great Depression. She was particularly proud of her Midwestern roots, and had many stories to tell of those happy days on the farm. Martha met the love of her life, Eugene "Gene" Montany, in 1946 at Curtiss-Wright in Columbus, where she worked as a secretary and he an engineer. They married only a few months after their first date and celebrated 73 years together before he passed almost exactly one year ago, May 10, 2019. After a few years in Southern California, they settled in Connecticut and started their family, also cultivating a large circle of lifelong friends. As the family grew, their home on Ferguson Road in Manchester became a popular gathering place for their friends, their children's friends, and the friends of friends. There was always room for one more at the table, and all were welcome. Martha was in her element baking, cooking for a crowd, serving a snack or a meal to anyone who came through her door, or providing a cuppa and sympathetic ear to those who needed it. She prided herself on keeping a spotless home and well-tended yard. No four-leaf clover was safe from her sharp eyes and many found themselves pressed between the pages of the nearest book. She enjoyed a good joke and managed to mangle the telling of many - always followed by fits of uncontrolled giggling. She passionately loved her grandchildren and they adored her in turn. Organizations to which Martha volunteered her time and boundless energy over the years include Lutz Children's Museum, Manchester Memorial Hospital, Emanuel Lutheran Church, Connecticut Child and Family Services, and Red Cross blood drives. Beside her husband, Martha is predeceased by her brother, Harry Pfanz, a sister, Lois Thomas, and a grandson, David W. Montany. Left to cherish her memory are her twin sister and husband, Mary and Alvin Staffan; her children, Stephen Montany, Eugene and Gail Montany, Mary Montany, David and Tuey Montany, and Neal and Laura Montany; 13 grandchildren, Eric Montany (Rachel), Annalia Montany, Carena (Lewis Kay), Marisa (Dylan Kee), Michelle Montany (Francesco Signorile), Nikki (Jonathan Boxer), Monica Montany, Kathryn Rea, Timothy "TK" Rea (Sabina), Emily Montany, Bryan Montany, Alexandra (Jason Majewski), and Sarah (Bryan Leong); a special step-granddaughter, Rhea Trotman Martinez; eight great-grandchildren, Maple Montany, Eugene "Sonny" Boxer, Jayden Rivera, Kailani Rea Lozada, Liam, Declan, and Brynn Majewski, and Colin Leong; and many nieces and nephews and their families. The family expresses deepest appreciation and gratitude for Martha's "girls," who provided loving care for her and "Mr. Gene": Herta, Irma, Rozalia, Dovile, Dorotta, Ewa, and several other caregivers, including the incredible staff at Visiting Nurse & Health Services in Vernon. A graveside service will be held for family and friends when social restrictions are lifted, and gatherings again allowed. In lieu of flowers, donations in Martha's memory may be directed to Lutz Children's Museum, 247 South Main St., Manchester, CT 06040 ( To sign an online guestbook visit

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Published in Hartford Courant on May 7, 2020.
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