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Georgia Marie Montante (nee Beck)

March 25, 2021

Visitation: THURSDAY, May 24, 2018: 2-4 & 7-9 pm at The Dietrich Funeral Homes, Inc., 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst.
Service: FRIDAY, May 25, 2018: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:15 am at St. Leo the Great Church, Amherst. MONTANTE – Georgia Marie
(nee Beck, aka Vekounopoulos)
May 18, 2018; beloved wife of the late
Michael P. Montante, Sr.; devoted mother
of Carl (Carol Ann) Montante, Thomas
(Margy) Montante, Joanne (John Roba)
Montante, Georgia “Gigi” (Bill) Lavin
and Michael P. Montante; grandmother
of 16 grandchildren and 28 greatgrandchildren;
loving sister of the late
Helen (William) Goby; also survived
by nieces and nephews. Family and
friends may call Thursday 2-4 and
HOME, INC., 2480 Kensington Ave.,
Amherst. A Mass of Christian Burial
will be celebrated on Friday at 9:15 at
St. Leo the Great Church, 885 Sweet
Home Rd., Amherst, NY 14226. Please
assemble at church. Flowers gratefully
declined. Memorials may be made
to the Canisius College Scholarship
Association, 2001 Main St., Buffalo,
NY 14208. Online condolences may be
shared at July 19, 1923 — May 18, 2018 As a girl, Georgia Marie Beck was a tireless and graceful swimmer. In her later years, she recalled the day she and some friends were sunning on a raft just off the shore at Crystal Beach. The boys in the group challenged each other to swim in open water to Bay Beach, about a mile away. When Georgia decided to join the challenge uninvited, some of the boys scoffed at her, saying she would never make Bay Beach. Not only did she make it to Bay Beach, she then turned around and easily swam back. "That’s the kind of person she was," said her daughter, Joanne Montante. "I’ll show you boys — I can swim just as good as you!" That determination to meet every challenge was a trait Mrs. Montante showed often in her 94 years, during which she served as the energetic and inspirational cornerstone of her large family. The Buffalo native, daughter of Victoria Dota and Thomas Beck, died May 18. After meeting Michael Paul Montante, who was eight years older, she converted to Catholicism from Greek Orthodoxy and, two days after her 18th birthday, they were married in Holy Angels Church on the West Side. The young couple rented a flat in the 800 block of Niagara Street, across the street from his parents, and later purchased the house. As their three sons and two daughters arrived, Mrs. Montante devoted herself to caring for them and to Holy Angels parish, where her children attended school. She also was active in the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary, once – famously – dancing the can-can in a musical fundraiser. While Mr. Montante worked long days as founder and operator of Broad-Elm Tire Co., Mrs. Montante "was always there for us," her daughter said. Mrs. Montante cooked, sewed the family’s clothes and her children’s costumes, and coordinated herself fashionably. "Everybody knew Mom and Dad," their daughter said. After the family moved to Amherst in 1962, they joined St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church. Her family said Mrs. Montante "had an unwavering faith in God." Although Mr. Montante’s work week included Saturdays, their daughter recalled that Sundays were reserved for the family, and after church and breakfast at Grandma’s house, they enjoyed many "beautiful drives in the country." In 1975, the Montantes became snowbirds, wintering in Marco Island, Fla. In the late 1980s, the couple moved to the Hidden Ridge Condos in Williamsville. "There was always a playroom for the kids, no matter where they lived," said their daughter. After her husband died on July 4, 1993, Mrs. Montante continued to travel south with her women friends.Through the years, the "Sunshine Girls" enjoyed lunches and outings, road trips to Florida, and an evening snack of wine, cheese and crackers, even in the hotels where they stayed en route. "My mother was extremely attentive to her appearance," said Joanne Montante. "She was a sharp, sharp dresser, and come hell or high water, she was at the beauty parlor weekly," including one day more than a decade ago when she set out for her appointment in a blizzard. "On the way home, her car got stuck, and a guy in a truck stopped and drove her home. She called to tell me, and I said, ‘Mom, it was snowing hard when you left!’ and she said, ‘Well, I had to get my hair done!’" Mrs. Montante was a talented cook and loved to share stories with her family. She enjoyed many sports but was a lifelong devotee of swimming, which she enjoyed for some 25 years at the Northeast YMCA. Besides her daughter Joanne, Mrs. Montante is survived by another daughter, Georgia Lavin; three sons, Carl, Michael and Thomas; 16 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:15 a.m. Friday at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, 885 Sweet Home Road, Amherst.


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