Obituaries & Tributes

Sharon O’Renick Montana

March 13, 1934 – Dec. 23, 2022

Sharon O’Renick Montana, nee Sharon Gail Ponting, was born March 13, 1934 in San Leandro, Calif., and died Dec. 23, 2022 in Cottage Grove, Ore. She lived most of her youth in the beautiful coastal town of Port Orford, Ore., where her family will memorialize her later this year.

Sharon married young, and bore nine children, raising the oldest with her first husband near his Missouri family. Then returning to Oregon, where the remaining children were born. They lived for many years on a small farm on the banks of the Row River in the southern Willamette Valley. Her children remember her sweet singing voice, fun songs at bath and bed times, and that she took time, every day, to play with and read to them while they were young. 

She thoroughly enjoyed cooking for her large family, her favorite foods being chocolate ice cream and her homemade clam chowder, which was also her family’s favorite. Her children remember her gentle wisdom, sharp wit, and that she told each of them they were her favorite child. She was fun-loving and kind: she always kept dress-up costumes, games, and art supplies for her grandchildren. Her children and their families were her life’s greatest joy.

Her children remember she always smelled of roses and Chanel #5. She was that elegant sort of woman who would not admit to her real age. She was flamboyant, wore bright clothing and hats, sparkly jewelry, and flowers in her hair.

A gifted artist from an early age, Sharon studied art throughout her life. She was proficient in and greatly enjoyed painting with oils, acrylics, and watercolors, drawing in pencil and charcoal (which treasures she shared with family), and creating in other art mediums, as well as writing stories. With a lifelong passion for reading, she always had stacks of books, passing a love of reading on to her children. Eventually earning a drafting degree, she worked for a time at a local firm, then later enjoyed a long, successful real estate career in Oregon and Alaska.

Sharon is survived by her nine children and spouses, their children (their spouses, and a host of great-grandchildren too numerous to name): John O’Renick; Patrick (Zalma) Joy and Josh O’Renick; Daniel (Debbie) Amy, Lisa, and Zack O’Renick; Rebecca (David) Karin and Kristen Hill; Susie (Dale) Jodi, Jamie, Tyrell, and Travis -Thiel-, Luke and Grace Rodrigues; Melissa (Mike) Lydia and Ellie Parker; Karen (Tim) Aybra, Sarah, and Karissa Sinclair; Brenda (Andy) Jed, Sam, Jessie, Rebekah, Ryan, and Stuart McClean; and Robert O’Renick.

She is also survived by stepchildren Jim Belz and Linda (Belz) Johnson; ‘adopted daughter’ Irene Martinez; sister-in-law Dorothy Ponting, of England; former in-laws Jack and Beverly O’Renick, of Missouri; sisters Barbara Jones, Lauraine (Lou) Florke, and Judi (Richard) Stack, of Oregon; and nine nephews, 11 nieces, and their families. 

Sharon was preceded in death by parents Lauren and Millie “Montana” Ponting Costelloe of Winston, Ore., and Jesse and Gladys Ponting of Port Orford, Ore., brothers Glen Gayland Ponting, of England, and Jack Davis Ponting, of Port Orford, Oregon; stepson Allen Belz; a niece, and three brothers-in-law.

“Momma” has gone on to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but will always be missed. Arrangements in the care of Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel and Crematorium.



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos