Donald Montgomery


Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Former Juneau resident Donald T. Montgomery, 80, died Feb. 21, 2007, of natural causes at a local care center in Brookings, Ore.

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He was born March 20, 1926, in Ashland, Ore., to Thurman Walker Montgomery and Laura Mae Gibson-Montgomery. A portion of his early childhood was spent at the Gibson family homestead outside Ashland along Dead Indian Memorial Road.

He attended schools in Ashland but quit to join the U.S. Navy in 1943, at age 17. After enlistment, he attended basic training and Quartermaster school in Farragut, Idaho. He served in World War II from 1943 to 1947, part of which was in the South Pacific. He was recalled during the Korean War and served on a Naval Reservist Training ship, Destroyer Escort USS Willett, and was stationed in New Orleans from 1951 to 1952.

In 1948, he married his wife of 58 years, Patricia R. Williams-Montgomery in Ashland. He earned his GED and attended Southeast Oregon College in Ashland for two years. After his honorable discharge during the Korean War, he attended Oregon State College in Corvallis, Ore., and received his bachelor's degree in biology. He worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 30 years as a fisheries research biologist, mainly in Alaska, Oregon and Idaho. After retiring, he and his wife enjoyed their retirement in Friday Harbor, Wash., and Brookings.

His main interests were his family and friends, photography, art, nature conservation, animals and bird watching. His family said he had an insatiable curiosity about life: He loved exploring beaches, deserts and mountains and enjoyed boating and traveling in his recreational vehicle.

According to his family, he had a great sense of humor, an easygoing manner and enjoyed get-togethers with family and friends. He was known to have sampled rattlesnakes, squirrels, small birds that suffered mishaps with windows and everything possible from the sea.

He was a volunteer fireman in Auke Bay and Cape San Juan, Wash. He was a member of the Elks Club and lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, William and Robert Montgomery; and sister, Helen Branch.

He is survived by his wife, of Brookings; sister, Marynell Reynolds, of Klamath Falls, Ore.; brother, Kenneth Montgomery and his wife, Ruth, of Rogue River, Ore.; aunt, Mildred Gibson, of Ashland; sons, Timothy A. Montgomery and his son, Eric, of Juneau, Daniel S. Montgomery, of Friday Harbor, and Patrick H. Montgomery and his wife, Katherine, and children, Christopher and Jennifer, of Ham Lake, Minn.; great-granddaughter, Shaylen, of Juneau; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

At his request, no service is planned. At a later date, his remains will be placed at Emigrant Lake Cemetery in Ashland.

Remembrances in his name may be sent to American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1131, Fairfax, VA, 22038-1131.

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