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Obituary - Bishop Benton W. Montgomery

Bishop Benton W. Montgomery

Date of Passing: November 6th, 2008

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In memory of Ben, kindly consider the Cathedral of Old St. John's Church. Flowers will also be accepted at the church.

Bishop Benton W. Montgomery, 74, (born as Benito Fuino and also known as Elton James) passed away Thursday, November 6, 2008 at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, with his family and friends by his side, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born March 8, 1934, in Herkimer, the son of the late Anthony and Rose Falvo Fuino. He was educated in Utica schools and received his Associate's degree from MVCC, his Bachelor's degree in Theology, his Master's degree in Science and his Doctorate in Philosophy all from SUNY. At the time of his death, he was continuing his education by pursuing another Master's degree online in Social Work. Ben had a long successful career in employment services in Syracuse. In the early 1980's, he returned to his native Utica to establish his church and to be near his family. In March of 1984, Benton became the Bishop of what is now known as the Cathedral of Old St. John's Church, which followed the teachings of Catholicism. During this same period he was active with both prison and hospital ministry. Ben was known in the entertainment world as "Elton James" and was a magician, karaoke singer and comedian and also loved to sing in Italian. He was a very spiritual person, who was very active in the community and will be deeply missed by his family, friends, parishioners and all who knew him. He is survived by a brother, Richard Fuino of Utica; many nieces, especially Bridget (Isaac McCovery) Kopel of Utica, Laura Fuino of CA, Roseann (Thomas) Janicke of Utica, Pamela (Rocco) Basi of Utica, Dawn (James) Blair of Clayville and Grace (Ron) Hebert and Aaron of Syracuse; as well as many great nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by five sisters, Rosemary Fuino, Grace Fuino, Gloria Fuino, Joyce (Elaine Fire) Fuino and Mary Fuino Kopel; and three brothers, Anthony, Joseph and Peter Fuino. The family wishes to acknowledge his live-in care giver, Glen Andrus who was assisted by Brian Merrill, Bridget Kopel and Isaac McCovery. A full Mass and Eucharist will be celebrated on Tuesday at 10 am from the Cathedral of Old St. John's Church, 1120 Steuben St., Utica, by Rev. Michael Pepearski. Interment will follow in Mohawk Cemetery. All are welcome. People are invited to pay their respects to Bishop Montgomery, at the church, throughout the entire day Monday. The family will be present Monday from 5-8 pm. Arrangements are with the Bentz & Amodio Funeral Service, Inc., 470 French Rd., Utica/New Hartford.


Dear sweetheart i will miss you forever you brought such sweet joy in every aspect of my life, and taught me so much in lifes chess game i hope you got where you wanted go my prayers are with you, cant wait till we meet again in our final home have a great afterlife and save a place for me. See ya soon , I love you.

Father Ben was a very dear friend of our family. He shared in both happy and sad times in our life...We met him through a very close friend Buck and had many laughs with them...We are sad to have to say goodbye to such a caring man. Our deepest sympathy to his family and friends he leaves behind.. The Gordon Family

I'd like to say that I'm happy I got the opportunity to meet my birth Uncle and I only wish we got the chance to carry out our plans for more days spent together like the one we had the day we went to Cooperstown. That's when we really bonded. Uncle Benny brought me much joy with his stories of my mother and his own zest for life was inspirational. I loved him and I will miss what we never got the chance to have. R.I.P. Uncle Ben say hello to Mom for me

We send out our sincerest sympathy to the family and close friends of Elton (Ben)He brought us much laughter and entertainment and was a wonderful confidant when we needed an open ear. He will be missed by all, and we share in your sorrow
Roger & Sue