Woman Spends Final Hours in Diner She Owned for 36 Years

'She was a tough little old lady but with a big heart'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2015 10:23 AM CST

(Newser) – After operating Chubby's Luncheonette in Hopewell Borough, New Jersey, for more than three decades, Carol "Chubby" Montello decided to spend her last night on Earth at the now-closed restaurant last month, NJ.com reports. Montello bought the 1950s luncheonette in 1979, quickly turning her regulars into a happy combination of family and unpaid staff. One regular says Montello would leave the door unlocked "24-7"—even though she wouldn't get in until at least 9am—so regulars could make coffee and heat up muffins. "She was a tough little old lady but with a big heart," one frequent customer tells NJ.com.

Chubby's Luncheonette went out of business about three years ago, NJ.com reports. Shortly after, Montello began to have problems "in her chest." She didn't want treatment—or even to be diagnosed—deciding instead to "ride it out." In the years after Chubby's closed, Montello could still be seen inside the restaurant—she lived above it—having coffee and a cigarette while reading the newspaper. When she was rushed to the hospital Oct. 11 she told her family she wanted to die in the space she'd turned into a home away from home for so many customers. They moved her hospital bed into Chubby's, where she died 11 hours later. Read the full story here. (This man chose 100 different countries as his final resting place.)

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