Benny “Moe” L. Montoya, Jr., a resident of Rio Rancho, New Mexico and formerly of La Mesilla, NM, passed away peacefully in his home on Wednesday, September 9, 2021. Benny was born in Española, NM on July 22, 1950. He was proceeded in death by his beloved mother, Odilia Montoya, father Bennie Montoya Sr., mother of his children Carmen Montoya, paternal grandparents Flavio and Petronila Montoya, maternal grandparents Manuelita and Antonio Martinez, brothers-in-law, Dennis Galvez and Nelson Martinez and many cherished relatives and friends.
Benny is survived by his beloved children, Marlena and husband Steve Riggs, son Joseph Montoya, and grandchildren whom he adored, Aliana Riggs, Raelei Riggs, Analicia Montoya, Estevan Montoya and Nevaeh Montoya. He is also survived by sisters, Josie Galvez, Maida Martinez and brother Flavio Montoya (Anna), special aunts, Tia Mercy Martinez and Tia Flora Montoya and many nieces, nephews and relatives.
Benny was a proud disabled US Army veteran who served from 1970-1972. He was stationed in Bamberg, Germany. His MOS was an armored crew man with M-60 enforced tanks. He was honorably discharged as an E-5 on April 26, 1972. Benny received the National Defense Service medal along with the Sharpshooter M-16 award.
Benny was also an accomplished artist. His hand-crafted crosses were made of natural cactus wood and precisely embellished with turquoise and coral. His meticulous work was sold in the Santa Fe Plaza and in some galleries throughout Northern New Mexico. He took great pride in his work and some family and friends were fortunate enough to be gifted with his art work.
But what Benny took the greatest pride and joy in, was his family. He was a loving and devoted father and grandfather. He loved his children and grandchildren dearly and was always willing to lend a helping hand whenever needed. He spoke very proudly of his grandchildren whenever he got the chance. He talked adoringly about getting them to the bus stop, waiting for them after school, and taking them to Sonic for a treat. He was a proud grandfather and talked very highly of all their accomplishments. Benny was also a devoted son, brother and a caring and protective uncle. Benny loved God first with a special devotion to our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Riggs/Montoya families would like to especially thank Maida and her family for their love and support during this very difficult time. To the Maes cousins for all the love they showed to Benny over the years and all of our family, friends and neighbors for their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
A rosary will be recited on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 10:15 a.m. at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz with a Memorial Mass to follow at 11:00 a.m. A private burial will take place at a later date at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Serving the family as pallbearers are his granddaughters, Aliana and Raelei Riggs. Rosary and Funeral mass will be celebrated on at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz. The church is observing Covid care practices and masks are required.
The family of Benny L. Montoya has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home and Crematory of the Espanola Valley. 505-747-7477