John Montesano Jr., the longtime State Farm agent and local developer, died peacefully Oct. 21 in his sleep. He was 84.
(The following information was obtained from the obituary posted on the Delhomme Funeral Home website.)
Born Oct. 23, 1930 in Long Island, N.Y., Montesano was the only son of Italian immigrant Joseph John Montesano Sr. and Maria Annunciata Mignogna. He was raised in New York with his sisters Marie and Elizabeth until his teen years when his family moved to Gainsville, Fla., where they opened an Italian restaurant, Sorentos.
There Montesano learned to cook authentic Italian dishes. He attended the University of Florida in Gainsville, playing on the freshman football team. On summer break, he met his future bride, Dorothy Mae Broussard, while vacationing in Galveston, Texas. They soon married and lived to celebrate 62 years together.
Montesano served in the U.S. National Guard in the mid 1950s, receiving an honorable discharge as a sargeant. His early work career included delivering dynamite to the docks in Fourchon. In October 1955, he began a six-decade career as a State Farm Insurance agent, having celebrated his 60th year with the company just two weeks ago.
When his own children were young, he’d go the St. Mary’s Orphanage, recruiting children to accompany him home where they’d spend the day swimming. Montesano and his family would return at Christmas and Easter time to bring the orphans gifts. From 1967-71 he coached Beaver Club football. He was on the inaugural City Council of Lafayette, serving as president. He was also a licensed contractor and commercial developer for more than 40 years.
Montesano was a member of the Optimist Club for many years and also a Knight of Columbus. He was quite the competitor, traveling the globe as a result of being a top seller in his field. He often shared his success with his employees by including them in his travels.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. The Rev. Chester Arceneaux, pastor of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, will be the celebrant and entombment will be in the St. John Mausoleum.
Survivors include one daughter, Susan Vincent, and her husband, Ronnie; three sons, Joseph “Bubba” Montesano and his wife, Carla; Bruce Montesano and his wife, Stacy; and William “Bill” Montesano and his wife, Michele.
John will be remembered as a devoted husband to his wife, Dorothy. He took care of her for more than four decades when she was afflicted with multiple sclerosis.
The family requests that visitation be observed at Delhomme Funeral Home Thursday from 3-8 p.m. A Rosary will be recited Thursday at 6 p.m. in the funeral home. Visitation will continue on Friday from 9 a.m. until time of service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations for Masses, or in honor of John’s military service to benefit local war heroes: www.MG2020.com or www.patrickwilliamson.org.
Personal condolences may be sent to the Montesano family at www.delhommefuneralhome.com.