Seth Boyden Community to Honor Beloved Educator Joanne Jacques-Montilus Nov. 21

0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail


Joanne Jacques-Montilus

Joanne Jacques-Montilus

The Seth Boyden School community will remember educator Joanne Jacques-Montilus at the Two Towns 5K Turkey Trot on Saturday, November 21.

Mrs. Montilus — as she was known to her students — succumbed to complications related to her 12-year battle with breast cancer this past September. She had been on medical leave for the 2014-15 school year.

Seth Boyden academic intervention specialist Donna Friedrich told, “We will be walking/running as a staff at the annual Turkey Trot 5K. At that event, we will be presenting a donation from the staff to the director of Mary’s Place by the Sea in Ocean Grove. This donation will sponsor seven women for a weekend at Mary’s Place, a spot close to Joanne’s heart. She went there in 2012 for a weekend and loved it. We have raised this money as a staff and are running in Joanne’s memory. Joanne’s family will also be at the 5k to participate with us.”

Former student Susanna Mann said that Mrs. Montilus often talked with her 4th grade students about Haiti, where she had family, explaining some of the political history. Susanna added, “She was nice to us. She would joke around with us sometimes, but she knew how to stop us if we were fooling around.”

Mrs. Montilus’ colleagues offered the following tributes:

Walking into Portable 2 at Seth Boyden School nine years ago, I knew I was in the presence of someone special.  Her confidence, knowledge and positivity was infectious!  She was a determined, dedicated and life long learner. Her smile could light up a room and her honesty was refreshing! I am proud to say I have known Joanne Jacques-Montilus. — Susie Lanzafame, staff member

I had the privilege and honor of being friends with Joanne for the past 9 years. And in those 9 years I never heard Joanne complain… Never! Even on the hard days, she never once gave in to complain about how tired she was, or how much pain she was in. Her positivity was contagious and I will be forever grateful for all the lessons she taught me throughout her battle with cancer. She lived each day to the fullest and wore a smile as big as her heart. My life has been changed for the better because of my friend, Joanne. — Jen Rollin, Seth Boyden teacher

Joanne never stopped loving, learning and living. She inspires me to live each day to the fullest and cherish all I have. Joanne filled each day with unbelievable strength and grace. She will never be forgotten. — Donna Friedrich, Seth Boyden teacher

Here is Mrs. Montilus’ obituary from Bailey Funeral Home website:

Joanne Jacques-Montilus was born Joanne Louis Jacques on September 27th, 1966 at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn New York. She was the daughter of Joseph Jacques and Marie Paulette Joseph. Joanne had four siblings, Ernest Baptiste, Faride Nicolas, Garita Jean and Chandler Louis Jacques.

Joanne grew up in Queens New York where she attended Sacred Heart followed by Saint Clare for Elementary school. She then attended Dominican Commercial High School where she established numerous lasting friendships.

Joanne met Pascal Montilus in Montreal Canada in November 1983. There begun a romance which would be the hallmark of the rest of her life. Years of courtship culminated in their marriage in Rosedale Queens on October 23, 1994. From that extraordinary union, Pascal and Joanne were blessed with four beautiful children, Malcolm Stephane Amiri (18), Julian Alexandre (17), and twin girls Anastasia Fiona and Gabriella Paulette (9). Their union brought them around the world, namely Moscow Russia in 1997, Compiegne France 1999, Louisville Kentucky 2002 and finally back to New Jersey where they have resided since 2007.

Joanne held a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stony Brook University and a Master of Education degree from the University of Louisville. She was a Teacher at the South Orange-Maplewood School District since 2007. She specialized in special needs students and was passionate and dedicated to their success.

Joanne was a phenomenal Mother, wife, friend, colleague and a source of inspiration to all who made her acquaintance.

Joanne was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in November 2004. She remained optimistic and resolute while fighting a remarkably courageous and brave fight. Ultimately, complications from Breast cancer claimed her life on Friday September 25th, 2015 at Saint Barnabas Hospital in Livingston New Jersey. Her positive outlook towards life and her unshakable spirit in the midst of the arduous fight is part of the legacy which she leaves us.

Joanne was preceded in death by her mother Marie Paulette Joseph.

She is survived in death by her father Joseph Jacques, her husband Pascal Montilus, her four children Malcolm, Julian, Fiona and Gabriella, her four siblings Ernest, Garita, Faride and Chandler, and a long list of Friends of Family.


Related Articles