Robert Montenaro Jr.

Obituary of Robert D. Montenaro Jr.

Amsterdam – Robert D. Montenaro, Jr., “Bob” passed away on his terms, shortly after completing his last tow call, surrounded by his family. 

Bob was born in Schenectady on November 26, 1946, to Robert Sr. and Clara Cordes Montenaro. His family moved to Amsterdam in 1946, where he attended St. Mary’s Institute, graduating in 1964.  He then attended HVCC for auto mechanics and began his career at Hosner Motor Car.  In 1966, Bob met his wife Judith Yarasezski, they were married in April 1968 and started their family. Bob left the auto repair business to operate The Synthetic Co., with his father, uncle, and brother, but realized that was not for him and he began working for his father-in-law at Frank’s, which he and Judy then operated as Frank’s Auto Service since 1981.  

Bob’s passion was his work. He was a legend in the towing industry and his work ethic was unwavering.  He lived in his uniform, phone always handy, awaiting the next tow call. When recently asked about plans to retire, he just shrugged his shoulders and smiled.  He could fix anything that had a motor and was always there to pull family and friends out of a ditch, the mud, or a snowbank.   

Bob was a “Founding Father” and officer of the Empire State Towing and Recovery Association (ESTRA) and for many years ran the “roadeo” obstacle course at the annual Tow Show. He was an honorary member of the Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department and Fort Johnson Volunteer Fire Company. 

Back in the day, Bob enjoyed drag racing at Fonda Speedway, racing his Chevelle. He was an avid micro-truck collector, which included an extensive collection of Hess trucks. 

Bob was a devoted father and husband and leaves behind his loving family; Susan and Brian Edwards, Debra Montenaro, Amy and Keith Ackerknecht; his cherished grandson, Hayden Ackerknecht; his sister, Diane Wadsworth; his brother, David, Chris Montenaro, and his four-legged grandkids.  Additional survivors include, Frank and Pat Yarasezski, nephews and nieces.  He was predeceased by Judy, his daughter Carol Ann; his parents, Robert and Clara, and his in-laws, Frank and Marion Yarasezski. 

Bob was an organ donor, selflessly giving The Gift of Life to others. He was not one for wakes or funerals, including for himself, so there will be no services. 

The family requests donations be made in his memory to the Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department, 126 S. Pawling Street, Hagaman, New York, 12086,; the Fort Johnson Volunteer Fire Company, 2 Ft. Johnson Avenue, Fort Johnson, New York 12070, or the American Diabetes Association, PO Box 7023, Merrifield, VA, 22116, Diabetes Research, Education, Advocacy | ADA.  

Bob’s care has been entrusted to Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Family Funeral Home, 171 Guy Park Ave, Amsterdam, 12010. 

In memory of Bob, please remember to slow down and move over.

Online condolences can be made at

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Robert
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Family Funeral Homes - Amsterdam
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