Sondra Jo Whitesell-Montaño, a resident of Safford, entered into rest late Saturday evening, October 24, 2020, at the Tucson Medical Center, following a brief illness. Sondra was 58.
Sondra was born in Sunnyvale, California on July 17, 1962, to Alton and Josephine Anglin-Whitesell. She moved to Riverbank, California in 1965. Sondra graduated Riverbank High School in 1980. Sondra was an only child, but she had many cousins and she loved them dearly. Sondra married her best friend and soulmate, Martin Montano, on May 1, 1985, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Together they built a wonderful life and raised three amazing children. They set an example of what true love was and raised their boys to be the best versions of themselves. Sondra was passionate about her family and family history. She spent many years researching her family line. She could always find information about someone's family history with a little time and effort. She loved being a mom of three boys, but she was glad when her sons settled down and finally had daughters in her life. Sondra was always there for her children when they needed someone to talk to. She was always there to help someone who needed her. She loved to sing. Sondra would blurt out lyrics in the middle of silence. Her smile and presence brought joy to everyone who knew her. Sondra loved watching sports with her husband. Her favorite teams were the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Yankees. Sondra’s husband was a youth baseball coach and over the years had many teams. The boys would always spend time with the family and thought of Sondra like a second mother. She loved the Marlins team that her husband coached and still talked about them frequently. Sondra’s dad was her hero. She was a true daddy's girl. Being reunited with her dad is what brings her family to peace. We know that they are looking down on all of us and saying how proud they are of everyone.
Sondra is survived by: her husband of 35 years, Martin; her step-mom, Barbara Whitesell, of Riverbank, California; her sons, Jeremiah Montaño (Jessica), of Modesto, California, Justin Montaño (Brittainy), of Modesto, California and Jacob Montaño (Denise), of Safford; her four grandchildren she loved and adored, Aiden, Annemarie, Isabel, and Elijah; and Krystal Pellergrino, who was like a daughter. Sondra was preceded in death by: her father, Alton Whitesell; and her mother, Josephine Anglin-Whitesell; her father-in-law, Roberto Montaño; and mother in-law, Eustolia Montaño-Alva. Those we love don't go away; they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near; still loved, still missed and very dear.
Funeral services for Sondra will be conducted Saturday afternoon, October 31, 2020, at 2:00 p.m., at Vining Funeral Home's "Chapel of the Valley". The family will receive friends Saturday afternoon, October 31, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. until service time at 2:00 p.m., also at the funeral home.