Monroe (Monty) D. Reitz was born in Hancock, Minnesota, to German parents whose families established their new lives in America at the turn of the century, and where Monty grew up to love farm life and the woods and wilderness of the northern plains state.
After Monty’s military service at the end of WWII, when he first came to California to be stationed at Fort Ord, he graduated from Moorhead Teachers College in Minnesota, where he met and married Gladys Sheer in 1950. Their first assignment was on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota, to teach and coach Native American students.
In 1952, they moved to California, where Monty received his master’s degree at UCLA. Their two daughters, Michelle Claire and Cheri Diane, were born before the couple’s divorce in 1965, when they lived in San Mateo.
Monty worked in San Mateo, Belmont, Sonoma and Livermore school districts before retiring in 1990. He and his wife of 45 years, Ramona, then moved to Pacific Grove. With his Shutzhund trained German Shepherd, Vicky von der Pfalz, Monty began his avocation of Search and Rescue training and service, both in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County Sheriff’s SAR Volunteer Team.
Monty trained SAR dogs until his 90s, when his long battle with cancer brought him to the end of a long and varied life, where he was known for his knowledge of government, politics, school administration and volunteerism. He was dearly loved by his family, Ramona, Diane Hunter, Michelle and Rory Glaubert, and Cheri Cerna; stepsons, Jeff and Lyn Toquinto, Steve Toquinto and Tim Toquinto; grandsons, Ryan Glaubert and Casey Cerna; granddaughters, Signy, Kyra and Alya Toquinto, Andrea and Kaden Toquinto; and great-grandchildren, Blake and Carson Glaubert, Ripley and Rowyn Toquinto and Mara Toquinto.
He will be missed by his friends in education and dog training, and although many were unaware of Monty’s love of poetry, he wrote these last words:
Here he lies
Where he longs to be
Near to the mountains
Close to the sea
Wicky and Hero
Searching with me
Where we are finally