Advertising leader Herbert Montalbano passes away at 85

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Herbert P. Montalbano

METAIRIE – Innovative advertising maverick Herbert P. Montalbano, Sr. died June 13, 2017. He was a young 85.

Born in the French Quarter and a resident of Metairie for over 50 years, Montalbano was born on Nov. 7, 1931.

He attended Holy Cross High School where he was outstanding in basketball and later graduated in 1949. He then attended Southwest Business College under the G.I Bill.

At the late age of 78, he attended the University of New Orleans, where he took Computer Science and Consumer Behavior courses.

Montalbano served in the United States Coast Guard for four years, including two years of active duty from 1953 to 1955 during the Korean War aboard an air and rescue cutter.

Montalbano and his wife Cheryl (Brandt) Montalbano founded the advertising company, Herbert P. Montalbano Inc. Advertising and Public Relations, in June of 1970.

“He started it in the trunk of his car,” Cheryl Montalbano said.

Montalbano patterned his career after the late David Oglivy, a world renowned copywriter.

He served as advertising director of the Clarion Herald Catholic newspaper from 1968 to 1970. Prior to his work at the Clarion Herald, Montalbano spent five years in professional sales and as the sales manager for Addressograph-Multigraph-Varityer Corp.

He received five 100 Club awards which were presented during international ceremonies at the Greenbriar Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

During his lengthy tenure in advertising, public relations, producing ads, commercials, promotions and marketing, Montalbano worked with many national and local celebrities as well as sports stars such as Hall of Fame pitcher Dizzy Dean, Hall of Fame outfielder Joe DiMaggio, former Miami quarterback Bob Griese, former Saints quarterback Archie Manning and his sons Cooper and Peyton, former Tulane coach Mack Brown, former LSU coach Dale Brown, former Jazz coach Butch Van Breda Kolff and former Saints Rich Mauti, Del Williams, “Iron Head” Heyward, and Ken Bordelon.

His marketing, public relations and promotions also reached out to former Miss USA Ali Landry, Jerry Vale, Margarite Piazza, Frankie Avalon, James Darren, Sonny Bono and Miss America runner up Erica Schwartz.

Montalbano is survived by his wife Cheryl of 43 years, along with five children: Susan Martiny, Anne Blackwood, Herbert P. Montalbano, Jr., Janice Delaune, and Maria Field. His late son Frank Montalbano died in an auto accident at age 15.

Montalbano had seven grandchildren, Corey, Whitney, Taylor, Jordan, Perry, Austin, and Casey, and seven great grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister Theresa Thumfart and two brothers, John Montalbano and Rev. Frank Montalbano, OMI.

Montalbano was preceded in death by his parents, Mary (Calamari) Montalbano and Frank Montalbano, along with his sister Marie Louise Thomas.

“He was the love of my life,” said Cheryl. “He always showed his love to other people especially the less fortunate who needed it most. He helped the poor man make ends meet and helped the businessman.”

His final wishes were to have men undergo screenings for prostate cancer, which Montalbano detected early and as a result maintained for many years a normal and healthy active life which included his love for basketball in his later years.

His motto for himself and his family says it all: “Do what’s right, and do your best for the love of God, family, and country!”

His wife Cheryl was also the love of his life, First Mate in fishing, his coach in basketball, mentor in business. His love for family was displayed by his sacrifices and always staying very close to his children.

Lakelawn Funeral Home will be in charge of the arrangements. The Wake and Mass will be celebrated at St. Clement of Rome Church in Metairie on West Esplanade on Tuesday, June 20.

Visitation begins at 10 AM and Mass will be celebrated at 12 Noon by Rev. Luis F. Rodriguez, Pastor. Burial will take place at St. Louis No. 3 cemetery on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans where his mother, dad, son-Frank, and sister are also buried.

The tombstone a few years ago was etched in stone for Herb and his wife with “We Thank God for Our Love for each other” with entwined wedding rings below.