John J. Clontz, Sr., died Wednesday, July 11, 2007, in Mesa, AZ.
Interment service will be held today in the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Cave Creek. John was born on June 13, in Niles, Ohio. John's parents emigrated from Romania in 1912 and settled in Ohio. John spoke Romanian and stayed connected to his heritage by visiting relatives in Romania. He moved to Montana at age 21 and married Elena Bolta. They were blessed by two sons and a daughter. John and his family lived on a ranch south of Havre where he enjoyed raising cattle and horses and farming. John was an engineer for the Burlington Northern Railroad for 37 years and retired in 1978. In 1971, he married Irene Bellwood. They began their lives together on the ranch near Havre. They moved to California and then settled in Mesa. John lived a very full and active life including a love of fishing and golf. He especially loved the holidays and hosted memorable Christmas parties for his many grandchildren. John was an active member of the Mesa Christian Church, the Elks and the VFW. John is survived by his wife, Irene Clontz of Mesa; his children, John (Hanna) Clontz, Jr. Of Gold Canyon, Ariz., Tom Clontz of Hot Springs and Francine Reithmeier of Kalispell; stepson, Craig Volker of Japan; sister, Valerie (Bob) Compton of California; and nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the American Heart and Lung Association.