Obituary of Karen E. Montani
Karen E. Montani, 79, of Haines City, Florida, peacefully entered God's kingdom on June 6, 2023. She was born on October 19, 1943, in Alexandria Bay, New York to John Andrew and Rena Alma Nichols Whattam. Karen attended Black River Elementary School in Black River, NY, then Country School in Rutland Center, NY, and graduated from Copenhagen Central School in Copenhagen, NY in 1961. She obtained her occupational degree as a hairdresser at Pauline’s Beauty School in Watertown, NY. She was a hairdresser in Watertown for 43 years before moving from Brownville, NY to Florida in 2006 and finally retiring in 2018. Mrs. Montani was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Lake Alfred, FL.
She loved golf, bowling and theater. She had multiple hole-in-ones and was a club champion of Willowbrook Golf Club and Ives Hill Country Club in Watertown, NY, as well as serving as the secretary and treasurer of many golf and bowling leagues. She was a First Vice-President of WWBA (Watertown Women Bowling Association), sargent-of-arms of NYSJBA (New York State Junior Bowling Association), a member of the National 600 Bowling Club, a certified junior bowling coach, and was active many years in Watertown Little Theater as an officer, actor, and director. After moving to Haines City, she was active in her community, organizing and preparing soup and holiday dinner events, and was involved in many park activities until her health declined. She enjoyed summers in Lewis County area, NY playing golf at Turin Highlands Country Club.
She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Gaylord Deane Forbes (marr. 1962), second husband, Arthur Charles Parish (marr. 1974), and third husband, Edward Stephen Montani (marr. 1990); siblings, William W. Whattam, Lillian A. Collins, and Dorothy Carlson, and a great-grandchild. Karen is survived by her daughters, Dawn Elizabeth Bulriss and husband, Randy of Tempe, Arizona and Cheryl Anne Benoit and husband, Eric of Whitehall, Arkansas; brothers, J. Addison Whattam, Glenn Durham, and Samuel K. Durham; grandchildren, Brian DeSantis, Michelle Woodson, Erica Benoit, Michael Bulriss, Karena Benoit, and Jason Benoit, as well as 3 great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be sent with a designation as a Memorial gift for Moffitt patient, Karen Montani, Haines City, Florida, to the Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation, MBC-FOUND, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612; or made online at Moffitt.org/Donate; or by calling 1-800-456-3434 ext. 1403.
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