1921 – 2023
Agawam – Marion (Smith) Montagna, 101, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on January 26, 2023, just 7 days short of her 102nd birthday. Marion was born in Akwesasne and was the daughter of the late Mitchell and Margaret (Casey) Smith. Her given Kanienkeha name, Takiokokta, which translates in English to “She goes to the end of the crowd, she ends the crowd” fully embodied Marion’s spirit as she remained the glue to her family. Marion was predeceased by her parents, her brothers Lawrence and Joseph Smith, her sisters Marie Brown and Cecelia Ransom, and her husband, Trento “Nino” Montagna.
At age 10, she moved to the Sisters of Saint Joseph Orphanage, where she developed the discipline and moral compass to lead her family for decades to come. At age 18, Marion moved from Akwesasne to Springfield, MA where she found work as a housekeeper. Marion then married the love of her life, Nino Montagna. For 32 yrs they enjoyed a marriage that included many family weekend trips and bowling nights. Marion was the matriarch of her family and also maintained a fulfilling career at Buxton Leather Company in Agawam, MA where she would eventually retire.
After the passing of her husband and not wanting idle time, Marion came out of retirement to work at Stop & Shop for another 15 years, remaining true to her conviction of taking care of her family. She would eventually retire at age 87.
Marion was a simple soul, finding peace and relaxation in the basics. Her family was most important to her and she made sure everyone was looked after and cared for. She will be remembered by the paintings she created after retirement, in addition to her love of gardening.
Having a strong connection to her Kanienkeha heritage Marion enjoyed the simple things, like watching flowers bloom in Spring, bringing new fresh life onto Earth. Marion also had a special love for the dogs in her life.
Marion will be deeply missed by her children, daughter Diane Hale and son-in-law Carl Hale of Westfield, MA, daughter Margaret Sterczala of Agawam, MA; her grandchildren Derrick and Melchorita Hale, Jonathan and Chrystal Hale, Nicholas Sterczala and Charleen Hale; her 4 great-grandchildren Daniella, Charlotte, Ziyana and Aviella, and many extended family in Akwesasne.
The family thanks the Hospice team who so compassionately and comfortably cared for Marion. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking any donations be made to Baystate Health Foundation, Hospice Care, 280 Chestnut St. Springfield MA 01199
Her care is entrusted to Colonial Forastiere Funeral & Cremation and her services are private. For the full obituary and to leave a condolence visit http://www.forastiere.com.