Montanna was raised mainly in the south and moved to Oakland in the 1960s. There, she played bass and found “women’s music” and the Women’s Press Collective.
In 1975, the press sent her and her then-lover, African-American poet Pat Parker, on a cross-country poetry and bookselling tour.
Montanna recently wrote about the burgeoning women’s and lesbian movements and the blatant and subtle racism they experienced on that trip.
From the Bay area, Montanna moved to Southern Humboldt, where she lived off-grid for 20 years. Those years were the inspiration for her 2012 master’s thesis in Women’s Spirituality through the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
Humboldt Faith Equality, encouraging mainstream churches to welcome LGBTQ+ people, was one result of that spiritual work. Her partner Karen Jolley appeared in Montanna’s life in 2011. Together, they created Happy Inner Prizes, which uses the Hoffmann Program of brain retraining to help kids who are struggling in school and adults with learning and memory issues.
Montanna was an amazing woman, a great community-builder, and an inspiration to many of us. She is survived by Karen, her brother Bob, nieces, nephews, and grandkids, and many many friends, who miss her as we appreciate having had her in our lives.
Please join us in celebrating Montanna’s life, Sunday Feb. 17 at 1 p.m at the Humboldt Herbals classroom, 300 Second St., Eureka. For information, call (707) 822-3405. Donations in Montanna’s memory can be made to Happy Inner Prizes at happyinnerprizes.com.