JEAN M. MONTERO was called "The Songbird."

That was hardly an exaggeration, because Jean was willing to lift her soprano voice with the slightest encouragement.

She was often asked by people from many walks of life in many different surroundings to "sing something."

So, she sang at church and at any organized event in the city that called for entertainment, as well as in doctors' offices and the supermarket.

People turned from the groceries to listen to her serenades.

Jean Montero, who survived polio as a child and went on to a life of service to others, died Feb. 28 after a long illness. She was 79.

"Her troubles never stopped her from having an optimistic outlook on life and reaching out to aid others," her family said.

Jean was a member of various musical organizations, including the Main Line Interdenominational Choir, Center in the Park Songsters and, of course, the choirs at Nazarene Baptist Church, of which she was a longtime member.

"Jean loved people," her family said. "She had a knack for asking about and remembering names."

As the first resident of the senior complex at Maple Village in Center in the Park, Jean was popular with staff and other residents. She never stopped learning. She continued her study of the Bible, and took numerous courses at the village, including calligraphy and glass-cutting.

She also maintained a telephone-correspondence ministry that offered encouragement to young and old.

Jean was born in Philadelphia to Lacy Friend and Goldie Phillips. She graduated from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School. She later studied at the Manna Bible Institute and a millinery school, where she learned to make hats.

She married Carlos Montero at an early age. He died in 1994.

She had no immediate survivors.

Services: Were March 5.