Cora Belle Montalban

Cora Belle Montalban

Cora Belle Montalban, 90, passed away peacefully in Montrose, Colo., on Jan. 16, 2023. She was the much-loved matriarch of her family. Cora Belle had a contagious laugh, a great sense of humor, and an iconic style; her signature hair and the omnipresent scent of White Diamonds perfume. She was a class-act and one of a kind. Cora Belle was born in Coal Harbor, North Dakota in 1932, to Harry and Luella Dilley; the fourth of six children.

A true North Dakota girl at heart, she was both tough and tender, and one who always kept her word. She grew up in Parshall, ND, and at the age of 18 received her teaching certificate. She taught grades 1 - 12 in a one room country school for a year before marrying Richard Larson of New Town, ND in 1951. In 1960 they relocated to Denver, where Cora Belle spent 13 years working as an executive secretary at First National Bank of Denver. An avid Denver Broncos fan, some of her favorite customers were none other than the players themselves. The 1970s began a new chapter in Cora Belle’s Life, when she moved to Cut Bank, Montana, and married Joe Montalban. The pair owned and operated Mountain States Oil and Gas Operations for over 30 years.

During her 90 years of living, she loved her family and extended family fiercely. Her most cherished place was her home of over 50 years at Whitefish Lake, Montana. Over the years, three generations of family regularly came to visit GG at the lake. She was known as Mom, Grandma, GG, Belle, and Auntie. She delighted in entertaining her friends and family. “Tappie Time” at 5pm and dancing to country western music or Frank Sinatra on the deck of the Whitefish house are memories the whole family shares.

She is survived by her daughter, Shelley Larson; son, Richard (Margaret) Larson; sister, Jeane Fuller; grandchildren Jason Dowdy, Alison Harris, Henry Larson, and Claire Larson; great grandchildren Reagan and Mackenzie Dowdy, and Kennedy, Kelston, and Hadley Harris; and many beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Joseph V. Montalban, of Cut Bank, Montana; brothers, Ronald and Harvey Dilley; sisters Evelyn Andersen and Shirley Malloy.

A celebration of life will be held in Cut Bank in summer of 2023. Exact date to be announced.