Col. Msgr. Francis Walter Montondon, 81, of Port Arthur, Texas, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 at Rose House in Port Arthur.
The dual titles reflected the reality of Msgr. Montondon’s life. He was a Roman Catholic priest appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Prelate of Honor to His Holiness with the right to the title of Reverend Monsignor.
For 23 of his 52 years as a priest, Msgr. Montondon was a military chaplain. He served in the Army, rising to the rank of colonel. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam and was awarded the Soldier’s Medal and the Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, which indicates he was awarded it on two occasions. He was also stationed in Germany for two tours and served his last four years of active duty at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va.
He was born on Sept. 13, 1931, to C.J. Montondon and Mary Alice Breaux Montondon in Port Arthur. Walter Montondon graduated from Bishop Byrne High School. He was ordained May 31, 1957 by Bishop W. J. Nold of The Galveston-Houston Diocese and served in the Galveston-Houston diocese from 1957-66. From 1966-2012, he served under the Beaumont diocese. During his years as a priest in Southeast Texas, he served at St. Pius X, Beaumont, and St. Charles Borromeo, Nederland. At the age of 35, he sought and obtained permission from the Bishop to join the Army.
Walter was a member of the Knights of Columbus and Dick Dowling Assembly of the Fourth Degree, where he served as Faithful Friar for many years.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his two brothers, James Montondon and wife Delores of Bridge City, Texas and Rusty Montondon and wife Nancy of Port Arthur, Texas, with numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, at St. James Catholic Church in Port Arthur from 6-8 p.m. with a Rosary to be prayed at 6:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at St. James Catholic Church with Bishop Curtis Guillory, SVD serving as main celebrant along with fellow priests from the Diocese of Beaumont. Interment will be at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery. Clayton-Thompson Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Special thanks to Dr. Townsend at Christus Hospital St. Mary, to Vivian, Rosie, Daniel, Dana, and to the staff at Rose House and Harbor Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Catholic Charities of The Diocese of Beaumont or to the Wounded Warrior Project.