John Edward Montazzoli of Edmond OK, died peacefully at his home on January 4, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. John was born an undisclosed number of years ago in Rahway, NJ to Dominic and Victoria Montazzoli.
John grew up in a suburban neighborhood in New Jersey where he began his love of sports, specifically baseball. He was recently quoted as saying, “Waking up to play baseball as a kid was the greatest feeling in the world”. His school days began at St. Cecilia’s Catholic School in Iselin, New Jersey, then on to St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, New Jersey. It was his junior year of high school that the love of sports helped him make the decision to transfer to Woodbridge High School in Woodbridge, New Jersey. He played all the sports he could including football, track, and of course his first love – baseball. His dream was to play Major League Baseball then become a Lawyer. His mean fast ball awarded him the opportunity to attend a Phillies Camp in Ocean City, New Jersey, but ultimately his baseball career was roadblocked by, in his words, “sheer lack of talent”. His baseball dream was over, but that did not discourage him as he also had an ability to play football. This ability awarded him a scholarship to Wilkes College in Pennsylvania for the starting fullback spot. Unfortunately, in his freshman year, he suffered a fractured leg which sidelined his football career. After a lengthy recovery from his injury, he transferred to Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston) in Charleston, West Virginia. Here he obtained his degree in Political Science, with a minor in Journalism.
John began his career at WCHS News in West Virginia where he covered the legislature for 4 years and specifically followed the then secretary of state and future governor of West Virginia, Jay Rockefeller. He loved this part of his career as it gave him the opportunity to learn the inner workings of the government. Although he loved his time in West Virginia, the one thing he did not love was the weather. John also loved to play golf, and learned how to play the game as a child working as a caddie at the Colonia Country Club in New Jersey. One day a week, the caddies got to play for free and as you can imagine, he took full advantage of that. This love of golf and the short golf season in West Virginia led him to look for sunnier skies in Daytona Beach, Florida. It was here that John was hired by WESH, Channel 2 and covered the Kennedy Space Center located on Merritt Island, Florida. He then went on to work for WFTV in Orlando, Florida where he started out doing field reporting then became an anchorman. He loved this work because he could do his reporting, then play golf the rest of the day. John had the opportunity to cover national politics and interviewed the then Governor (future President) Ronald Reagan who he found to be very kind. He also covered celebrities who came to town like Sonny and Cher – “Cher had the most spectacular cheek bones I’d ever seen”, Liberace, and John Denver – who he may or may not have made angry. The interview did not end well when questioning the Shenandoah River running through West Virginia in the song Country Roads. When asked why John wanted to do news instead of sports he said, “the news was on the air for 22 minutes, and sports only 8 minutes” (he wanted more air time).
John still held on to his dream of becoming a Lawyer and eventually moved to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma City University Law School. He obtained his Juris Doctorate degree and decided to stay in Oklahoma because the people were so nice and he thought it would be a great place to raise a family. John began his law profession and worked on many interesting cases throughout the years including the infamous Penn Square Bank failure of the 1980’s. John did not brag much about his career as he felt his biggest accomplishments were his wife, children, and grandchildren. He would often say the best day of his life was when he met his wife Bethany as “she changed my life completely and made me softer and kinder”. During their 22 years of marriage, they celebrated together the many life events of their children, grandchildren, family, and friends. These, he would say, were the things that mattered most in his life. All the rest had to happen to get him here.
John leaves behind his wife Bethany of Edmond, OK, Children Major Matt and wife Mallory Montazzoli of Brisbane, Australia Mia (Montazzoli) and husband Cory Morris, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Jordan Montazzoli of Edmond, OK, Mother Victoria Montazzoli of Colonia, NJ, Grandchildren Jane Montazzoli, Helen Montazzoli, Tess Montazzoli of Brisbane, Australia, Smith Morris, Banks Morris, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Greyson Montazzoli of Edmond, OK, and a host of loving cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
John is preceded in death by his father Dominic Montazzoli and brother Paul Montazzoli.
A memorial service will be held for John at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12th at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond, OK with a gathering of family and friends to follow at 4:00 p.m. at The Golf Club of Edmond. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First Tee of Metropolitan Oklahoma City.