Monroe's longtime road chief leaves behind a legacy of service

| 22 Feb 2012 | 01:39

MONROE - Call Roy. Whatever the problem was, wherever it was, whatever time it was. It was Roy Montanye, as the town of Monroe’s highway superintendent, who came running. Montanye passed away Aug. 21 at the age of 64. The large number of mourners who came to pay their respects at the funeral home earlier this week was testament to what he gave to the Monroe community. It was a 24-hour job and one that required him to wear many hats - maintaining the town’s roads, operating the water districts and being Monroe’s animal control officer. Montanye put his heart into his work until his heart forced him to retire in March after 32 years on the job and 22 years as highway chief. He would only get to enjoy a few months of retirement, though; he spent a lot of it helping out his former co-workers. “He was very dedicated. He would stay with the guys during any type of emergency,” said John Scherne, a heavy equipment operator for the town. “He would be the first to get there and the last to leave. He will be missed by the highway guys.” ‘Good old boys’ The Monroe Bakery has been a longtime hangout for the “good old boys as they were known around town.” Montanye, Don Weeks, Jimmy Rogers and Charlie Finnerty would sit around every morning except Mondays when the place is closed to discuss the latest project or residents’ concerns. They would meet again in the afternoon at Dunkin’ Donuts. There were other sides of the man, particularly when it came to animals and the unfortunate. “ A resident called to say the yearling had been crying all night in their backyard. Roy picked up the baby deer and carried it to his truck. He sat it on his lap and drove to a Salvation Army bin to get some cloth to wrap the shaking deer. Then he took it to a wild life farm on Bull Mill Road where it was cared for.” Weeks, a former councilman, laughed, remembering how Montanye would walk up to a dog that looked like it could eat you up. “He would sit down on the ground and talk to it and pet it. Before you knew it, Roy would open the door of his truck and the dog would go right in.” “His rapport with animals was unbelievable,” said Weeks. ‘A trusted and fair man’ The highway chief also had a very generous heart, said Weeks. “He helped a lot of people in need, which is not publicly known. “Roy had a good working relationship with everybody he was in contact with,” Weeks added. “From the school district to the county, he was considered a trusted and fair man.” When he got a call during the night he would first go see what the problem was before he would call a crew out at taxpayers expense, added Weeks. Another good friend, councilman Jimmy Rogers, recalled the good times they spent on family vacations to places like Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Cape Cod. “When Monroe lost Roy,” Rogers said, “they lost a lot. He was a true public servant. He was always there.” When Montanye retired, Bob Picinotti became the deputy superintendent of highways. Picinotti said he never worked with anyone better or who was more knowledgeable about highway operations than Montanye. “He is going to be missed, no doubt about it. He was a wealth of knowledge, just a phenomenal individual.” Geri DeAngelis, wife of the late town supervisor, John DeAngelis said, “Roy was one of the nicest people.” “ We thank him for sharing his life with us and making our Monroe community a wonderful place to live over the years.” Monroe Town Supervisor Sandy Leonard may have summed up what many others said in various ways: “The town has lost a good friend, a dedicated public servant, a wonderful person and a member of our family. It kind of just leaves a hole in your heart.”

The town has lost a good friend, a dedicated public servant, a wonderful person and a member of our family. It kind of just leaves a hole in your heart.” Monroe Town Supervisor Sandy Leonard