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  • Fairbury News staff

Obituary: Montel

Betty Jo Montel, 81, passed away Sunday, April 14, 2024 in Richmond Heights, Missouri.

Jo was born June 27, 1942, Fairbury, Illinois to Clarence and Gladys (Hovious) Lindsey.  She attended Forrest-Strawn-Wing schools, graduating from FSW High School in 1960.  She met her high school sweetheart, love of her life, and future husband, Harry R. Sohn, during these years.

Jo and Harry married on March 1, 1963.  Together they had four children, all of whom survive: Karina “Kari” Whelan (Brett) Ferguson, Douglas “Doug” Sohn (Casey Luce), Angela “Angie” Sohn (Jeff Nelson), and Daniel Sohn (Erica Barnett).  Harry died at age 36 from esophageal cancer.  Jo married Steve Montel in 1980 and they had one son, Michael Montel who preceded her in death in 2019.

Jo was adored by her grandchildren Madison (Jordan) Burns, Logan (Emily) Whelan, Delaney Whelan, Anellie Sohn, Evan (Julia) Resuali, Sam Resuali, Avery Resuali, and Brynn Resuali.  Were it not for the effects of dementia, she would have been crazy about her great-grandchildren, Emmett Donald Burns, and Mae Eden Whelan.

Jo attended Julia F. Burnham School of Nursing in Champaign, Illinois, and worked as a registered nurse in various settings for many years, ultimately retiring in 2010 as the Director of Nursing in Carbondale Clinic in Carbondale, IL.  During her tenure at Carbondale Clinic, she became close friends with a group of coworkers who referred to themselves as “The Cluckers.”  Together they shared many fun-filled events including monthly gatherings at Tres Hombres in Carbondale.  She also remained close with several of her best friends from nursing school and always looked forward to their annual October trips.

Jo was a member of the Carbondale Church of Christ where she had many dear friends.

Jo loved flowers and gardening.  She was a voracious reader and always said she would never be bored as long as there was a book to read.  She loved decorating for the holidays, travel with and creating memories with her children and grandchildren.  Kentucky Lake was her happy place and she loved taking her family out on the boat.  She decided in her 70s to get a red VW Bug convertible and a Woodstock (Snoopy’s friend) tattoo, declaring herself a “cool grandma.”

Jo was also preceded in death by her beloved sisters, Phyllis (Norman “Toad”) Kesler and Hinda (Paul) Marchetti as well as by her brother William Lindsey.

A visitation will take place on Saturday, April 20, 2024 from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm, with a short service following, at Duffy-Pils Memorial Home in Fairbury, IL.  Donations in her memory can be made to the Carbondale Church of Christ (1805 W. Sycamore, Carbondale, IL 92901) or the American Cancer Society.


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