In Memory of:
Dr. Stephen A. Montes, DO, FAASOS
(July 4, 1943 – July 10, 2015)
Thanks to the vision of Dr. Stephen A. Montes, D.O., FAASOS, the American Association of Physician Specialists (AAPS) Foundation became a nonprofit public corporation and the philanthropic arm of the AAPS, in the fall of 2008. Through his vision, initiatives and strong determination, along with other like-minded physicians, the AAPS Foundation began to operate with Dr. Montes serving as the Foundation’s President over the next seven years, until he passed away on July 10, 2015.
Dr. Montes’ experience as a physician specialist and leader in the AAPS and the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), fueled his desire to establish and grow the Foundation and its mission, to improve the quality of medical care and services by providing education and training to the medical profession and the public. The Foundation continues to advance the quality of medical care, services and patient healthcare through education and programs, because of his dedication and leadership.
Stephen Montes was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 4, 1943. He graduated from Proviso West High School, Hillside, Illinois in 1961 and from Rosary College, River Forest, Illinois in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He earned his medical degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1979 and completed four years of Residency in Orthopedic Medicine.
From 1984, until his partial retirement in 1999, Dr. Montes maintained a private practice and during these years, served as an orthopedic surgeon at Muskegon General Hospital, Muskegon, Michigan. Prior to his medical career, he served as a policeman with the Chicago Police Department for ten years. Dr. Montes also served his country as a Major in the United States Army Reserve, during Operation Desert Storm as a surgeon and as an active duty Army Specialist during the Vietnam conflict.
In 1989, Dr. Montes became Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery by the ABPS. He was an active member of the AAPS, the ABPS and its numerous Boards and Committees. Throughout his career, Dr. Montes held numerous leadership positions, including Vice-President of American Academy of Specialists in Orthopedic Surgery
(AASOS), President of the AAPS Executive Committee, CME Chair and AAPS Foundation President.
The American Academy of Specialists in Orthopedic Surgery (AASOS) awarded Dr. Montes the Degree of Fellow in 1995 and Physician of the Year Award in 1999; an award given to a member who has contributed to the growth, recognition, and leadership of the Academy. In 2007, he was honored with the E.O. Martin Award; the highest award given to recognize significant contributions to the AAPS, its Academies of Medicine, Boards of Certification, the medical profession, and the community. Dr. Montes was the 2011 recipient of the Thomas Ebner Leadership Award which is given to a Diplomate, who has demonstrated superb leadership, in positioning the organization for success. He was a great supporter of the AAPS Auxiliary, NIF, and PAC, as well as the Foundation.
Computer technology, hunting, fishing and camping were some of the things Stephen Montes enjoyed, but he enjoyed spending time with his family the most. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Marjorie Montes was a great supporter of her husband, the AAPS, the AAPS Auxiliary and Foundation, throughout her fifteen years of volunteer work with the AAPS Auxiliary. Steve and Marge were married for 51 years on July 4, 2015. She joined him in heaven just 65 days after he passed. Her support for the AAPS Foundation will not be forgotten.
Dr. and Mrs. Montes resided in Muskegon, Michigan and Manlius, New York. They are survived by two children Michael A. Montes (Catherine), Manlius, NY, Stephen L. Montes, Saugerties, NY and three grandchildren.
The term “Legacy” is defined as “something received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past: (Webster). Legacy means how someone is remembered, what contributions they made while they were alive and connects a person to those whose lives they touch and how their connection is carried forward, touching more lives for future generations.
Dr. Stephen Montes had many visions and goals for the future of the AAPS Foundation and he continued to devote his efforts toward accomplishing its mission. His memory and legacy will live on for future generations, through the work of the AAPS Foundation’s Board of Directors and through the continued support of its caring donors and volunteers.
AAPS Foundation Affairs Coordinator
To help honor the memory of Steve Montes, a few of his AAPS colleagues have shared their thoughts and stories.
Steve was a paternal man, and spoke less but said more. He often smiled, seldom complained, and preferred face to face conversations. I remember many times he would end a conversation with a smile, and then say "let’s move" or "I’m ok with that". He always seemed to sit in a corner, and was observant about what each person’s facial expressions revealed.
Ed Thornton, DO, FAAEP, FAADM
In Memory of: Stephen A Montes, D.O., FAASOS
Steve was a very special person, and that could be noticed immediately, as soon as he spoke and his unique gruff voice was heard. It sounded scary, like he was a part of the old mafia, and he was actually a very honest, hard-working and tough guy, but inside he was really a very loving and kind Teddy Bear. He had several total joint replacements, as well as multiple spinal fusions, due to arthritis and degenerative spinal problems. However, I never once heard Steve complain or whine about how he was feeling. Steve liked to joke around and sometimes had a dry sense of humor. One thing he would always say is "Good Morning," no matter what time of the day it was. I always chuckled when we had an 8:30 p.m. conference call, and he would say “Good Morning” to everyone.
But it was not just his voice that made him special. He was a policeman with the Chicago Police Department for 10 years before going to medical school. Then, even after starting a busy orthopedic practice, he showed his duty as a
US Army Specialist being involved in the Vietnam conflict and Operation Desert Storm. He always maintained a positive attitude throughout his life, and he was an extremely devoted person to his family and friends, profession, patients, country and home organization of AAPS. He was a very sincere, kind and caring physician and always had time to spend with his patients. Even when he was behind schedule, he never hurried but always showed them his compassion and passion for healing.
In AAPS, Steve was a very hard "worker bee" for his Orthopedic Academy, getting involved with preparation of the certification examination, as well as traveling all around the country to observe and test other physicians, who were candidates for board certification. He was a medical innovator and mentor to his peers. His positive qualities and attitude moved him up the ranks in AAPS, and he served in every position in the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. Steve was the driving force behind the formation of our AAPS Foundation. He never said "no" when asked to work harder or develop something new for the organization. He received many well- deserved honors and awards for his hard work and devotion, but he always accepted them very humbly. He loved AAPS, and that dedication and sincerity were the things that led him to be discouraged and saddened when people spoke negatively or did anything to attempt to harm AAPS.
On the personal side, Steve loved to eat and it was a pleasure to watch him enjoy a fine dinner. He especially loved seafood and Italian foods. He enjoyed many types of cheeses and red wines, also. In addition, he was an excellent chef and looked right at home like a biochemist in the kitchen! He was well versed with all of the sharp cutting instruments.
My wife, Linda, and I had the fortunate experience of going on a Mediterranean cruise with Steve and his wife, Margie. This was a few years ago, and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time with many, many laughs and wonderful memories. As nice of a person as Steve was, Margie was nice plus! She was a real gem. Happily, over the past 10 years, they were able to devote a lot of their time and attention to their grandsons growing up in New York State. I have had the good fortune to witness many of Steve's fine qualities coming through in his sons.
Steve's legacy is that of the American dream. He grew up in difficult times in Chicago, and then he worked hard to get a good education and become a physician and an Orthopedic Surgeon, as well as a medical leader and mentor. He always stayed true to God and himself, his family and friends, his country, his profession and his certifying organization. He has positively touched thousands of lives over his lifetime using his God-given talents coupled with his generosity and compassion to help people.
I have been blessed and am honored to have been a small part of Steve and Margie's lives. We had experienced many laughs and fun times while being a part of AAPS.
Anthony Russo Jr., D.O., FAAA
AAPS Foundation Board Member