Accountant took pride in Mankato | Local News

Bill Montag came to Mankato as one of the area’s first certified public accountants. He founded Montag Accounting, which eventually became Montag, Abdo, Gazzola and Morken Accounting — precursors to accounting firms still around today. Later, he served as chief financial officer at Johnson Reel Co. and Lundin Construction and […]

Bill Montag came to Mankato as one of the area’s first certified public accountants.

He founded Montag Accounting, which eventually became Montag, Abdo, Gazzola and Morken Accounting — precursors to accounting firms still around today. Later, he served as chief financial officer at Johnson Reel Co. and Lundin Construction and owned the Montag Ford car dealership.

Montag, who took pride in the area he called home for more than 60 years, died at age 93 on May 26 after contracting COVID-19.

He was one of the earliest deaths in the Mankato area with COVID-19 listed as a contributing factor on the death certificate. Like so many others who died after contracting the illness, other health conditions contributed.

“I think it was like a final blow,” said his wife, Marge, of COVID-19.

Montag was originally from northwest Iowa, where he graduated from West Bend High School. After serving in World War II, he graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and moved with his wife at the time, MaryAnn Bjonerud, to Denver so he could get his master’s degree in business, according to his obituary.

He and Bjonerud had seven children. Along with his children, he’s also survived by two stepchildren, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

As active as he was in the business community, Montag was just as involved in community organizations. He served as president of the local Sertoma Club, Elks Club, and Mankato Golf Club — he had five holes-in-one — and on the board at National Bank of Commerce, Minnesota Valley Credit Union and Immanuel St. Joseph Hospital.

He was an active church member as well. Marge, who married him in 1978, said he loved playing cards with friends in his free time — pfeffer and poker among his favorites.

She described him as an intelligent and well-read person who loved a good conversation and time spent with family. Being bedridden in his final months was hard on him.

The couple moved into assisted living at Oak Terrace in late 2019 as his arthritis grew worse, Marge said. Both tested positive for COVID-19 in spring 2020. He never recovered.

“You just feel so helpless because there’s nothing you can do to help him,” Marge said.

She suspects the novel coronavirus was brought into the facility by an asymptomatic carrier. In Montag’s obituary, the family was thankful for Oak Terrace’s care during his final six months.

After losing a loved one during the pandemic, Marge said she feels for all the other families who experienced losses to COVID-19 over the last year. What she’ll remember about her husband, though, are the good times they had during 42 years together.

“We had many years of wonderful times,” she said. “We played golf together, we moved to a warmer climate for 10 years, we met a lot of nice people. We had a good life.”

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