Michael R. Montoya
1954 - 2020
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Michael R. Montoya died peacefully at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA at age 65 with his wife Dorthea by his side on July 13, 2020 after a long battle with cancer. He was deeply loved, and admired for his strong moral compass, his extraordinary leadership, his generous mentorship, and his wry sense of humor. Mr. Montoya was born August 22, 1954 in Santa Fe, New Mexico; he and Dorthea moved from Santa Fe to California shortly after Dorthea's graduation from high school. During his 38-year career at Southern California Edison (SCE), Mr. Montoya held many positions, beginning his career as a utility man/meter reader, rapidly moving to supervisory roles in the field, and retiring as the Director of Grid Advancement within SCE's Transmission and Distribution Business Unit. His mix of technical knowledge, field experience, and approach to leadership gave him a unique perspective to problem solving and solution implementation. In addition to significant team accomplishments like SCE's Circuit of the Future and the Irvine Smart Grid Demonstration, that will continue to support modernization of the electric system long into the future, he never forgot his roots in the field. He always had engineers and technical specialists working on design enhancements to support worker safety. True to his values, he freely shared his knowledge by mentoring employees, participating on college and government advisory boards, and presenting (or encouraging his teams to present) on the latest studies and advancements. Mr. Montoya's expertise in the generation and transmission of electricity was recognized worldwide, and he traveled extensively for work and pleasure. In retirement, he continued to participate on college advisory boards and mentor students and former employees, always wanting to give back to the community. He leaves a strong legacy of accomplishment and servant-leadership as well as many individuals he mentored. Mr. Montoya earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of La Verne, and also obtained certificates in IT Essentials for Business Leadership from Pepperdine University, and in Sustaining the Innovative Organization from the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was passionate about wine, cars, and cooking. His collection and knowledge of wine was widely appreciated by family and friends. He earned enough money to buy his first car before he was old enough to drive. He attended auto events, especially those featuring Porsches and Ferraris. One trip to the Ferrari factory in Italy inspired him to order a yellow Ferrari from the South Bay dealership. He drove the car as often as he could, even in recent weeks. Mr. Montoya is survived by Dorthea, his wife of 44 years; his sisters, Theresa Herrera and Emily Montoya; his uncle and aunts, Ben and Carmen Montoya, Manuelita (Nellie) Gonzales, Cresilda (Crissie) Mier; his cousins, Rodney and Helena Gonzales, Alfonso and Tamara Gonzales, Kathleen (Kay) and Richard Laemmle, Kenneth and Emily Montoya, Mark and Darla Mier, Sandra and Lorenzo Zamora, Steve Mier, Eugene Mier, Gavin and Barbara Mier; his nieces and nephews, Nicole and Aaron Franklin, Chris Montoya, Marty Herrera, Mark and Paola Herrera, and Yvette and Frank Miramontes. He was predeceased by his parents, Eustaquio and Emily Montoya, and his brother, Sammy Montoya. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, consider a memorial donation to El Camino College (https://www.elcamino.edu/), the Veterans of Foreign Wars (https://heroes.vfw.org/page/21776/donate/), or a charity of your choice.

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Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on Jul. 21, 2020.
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4 entries
July 27, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. We were cousins my mom Florence and his father Eustaqio were brother and sister.
Lisa Roybal
July 24, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Edwina Soto-Romero
July 22, 2020
On behalf of the Agua Fria Village Association (AFVA) we express our heartfelt condolences. The greater Montoya family (I'm married to Lois, the daughter of Art and Mae Montoya), has always been an integral part of the Village since Jose Lino Montoya (1830-1916) bought land here in 1860; and has supported AFVA activities and issues. Our neighbor Frank Montoya, Michael's cousin and childhood best friend, does not have a computer but also wishes to express his condolences. RIP Michael!
William Mee
July 21, 2020
I worked with Dorthea for a number of years at several banks and met Mike on several occasions at bank parties. He was a great guy and I knew he loved Porsches (I didn’t know about the Ferraris). Please accept my sincere sympathy and know, Dorthea, that you and the family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Rollie Vetterick
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