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September 29, 2023

Local Educator Passes

Robert Montesi served the Cleveland community for over 50 years

By Charles Linden

The Bolivar Bullet

Robert Montesi, who spent over 50 years as an educator, passed away on December 23 after a long illness. He was 81 years old. A Mass of Resurrection was held this past Monday, (December 27), at Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church. Father Kent Bowlds officiated.

Montesi will forever be remembered not only as an educator, but also as a solid and longtime member of the Cleveland community. 

Stephen Craddock, the Assistant Principal under Montesi at Cleveland High School for two years (2010-2012), recalled the man he called “mentor” as “totally devoted to his life as an educator.

“He was a tremendous influence on me and so many others for over 50 years spent in education,” said Craddock. “He was firm, but fair. Mr. Montesi always put his students and teachers first in his career and his family first in his personal life. I can’t think of a more dearly-loved man by both teachers and students and his mind was always focused on education and on the schools where he worked. Mr. Montesi would come to work at five in the morning and stay until five in the afternoon, even in his late 60s. His blood ran black and gold–he was a true Wildcat–as well as a true man of faith.”

Craddock said former students and associates would always stop Montesi when he was outside of the classroom because he had touched so many lives during his many years in education.

“Mr. Montesi would often tell the story of a health scare he had had several years ago,” recalled Craddock, “in which he had to be taken to a hospital in Jackson. It turned out that the doctor who treated him was one of his former students. Occurrences like that were common.”

Montesi’s long career in education took place in Clarksdale, Greenville, and Jackson. However, he spent most of his career as principal of Margaret Green Junior High School and Cleveland High School in Cleveland.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church.