Julie Montabon, 76, died April 15, 2023.
Julie was born February 15, 1947 in Tomahawk, WI, to Ruth (Kuntz) and Lloyd Bishop. She graduated from Tomahawk High School in 1965 and later attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. At a summer party in her hometown, she caught the eye of Dennis Montabon. They fell in love, married in 1967, and spent the rest of their lives together. Dennis and Julie were married for over 54 years and had three children: Frank (Sheryl Montabon), Tony (Jani Jensen), and Sara (Rudi Rughoonundon).
Julie loved and cherished many things. She had a sense of adventure and saw the world through her work at Goli’s Avenues of Travel. She led countless group trips to destinations around the globe, including a visit to the Vatican to meet Pope Saint John Paul II. Julie and Dennis loved travelling together including an unforgettable trip on the Windstar cruise ship from the French to the Italian Riviera. When not travelling she loved working in her immaculate gardens that surrounded the house at 15th & State.
Julie loved all holidays, especially Christmas. She had decorations for every season. She spent days perfecting the setup of her miniature Christmas village and every ornament on her tree held a memory. Long after her children were adults, she continued to fill their Christmas stockings with a fresh pair of pajamas and chocolates from Santa. She never missed midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and although she was not known for being an early riser, she made an exception for opening presents on Christmas Day.
Julie loved her community. La Crosse became her home in 1976 and she built a rich life there. People she met in the Newcomer’s Club became lifelong friends and chosen family for almost five decades. She was an active member of the Cathedral and Newman Center parishes. She volunteered with many organizations, including Causeway Caregivers. She loved to entertain and the yearly Montabon Oktoberfest parties were the stuff of legend.
Julie loved her family more than anything else. She loved being a Wife, Mom and then Grandmother to Vincent, Lillian, Maxwell and Beatrix. She would host tea parties for toddler grandchildren and politely sip juice from a tiny cup, wearing a feather boa or fancy hat. She plastered her refrigerator with their artwork and cards, shared photos or anecdotes about her grandchildren with friends and strangers, and generally reveled in the role of Grandma Julie.
Julie is survived by her children and grandchildren, as well as her much, much older brother, Lloyd (Carolyn) Bishop. (Nota bene: Julie would be furious if the sibling age discrepancy was not mentioned). She is preceded in death by her loving husband, Dennis, and her parents.
The family would like to thank all of the dedicated people at Mayo Hospice and Good People who helped with her wish to live out her life at home.