MONTGOMERY, James James Howard Montgomery, 93, died peacefully at his residence at Arbor Terrace on Wednesday, September 2. Born in Miles, Texas, on November 28, 1921, to David Oliver and Ollie Anderson Montgomery, Howard grew up as one of seven siblings in West Texas during the depression. After attending San Angelo State, he transferred after one year to the University of Texas, graduating in 1942 with a degree in Business Administration. After serving as a civilian in Panama during World War II, he returned to Texas where he courted and eventually married Margaret Richey in 1949. Their four children were born in Fort Worth, where Howard worked for Southwestern Bell, then Convair Aircraft. It soon became obvious that he was looking for something more meaningful, pre-dating by several decades Frederick Buechner's definition of vocation: "where one's deep gladness meets the world's needs." He began to devote his life to service in the Presbyterian Church, beginning as the manager of the Presbyterian bookstore in Atlanta, and then working for the Presbyterian Board of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia. He moved back to Atlanta with the Board, where he became the publisher of John Knox Press. Once the four children were out of college, Howard left that position, desiring to work with "the least of these, our brothers and sisters." After turning down several lucrative leadership positions in business, he served as a counselor for drug and alcohol patients at the Georgia Regional Hospital where he provided a calm, listening and caring presence. In addition to his family, the Central Presbyterian Church was at the center of his life, serving as an elder, as well as a host of other ways. Along with Margaret, Howard greeted all who entered the church with gracious hospitality and open arms. Margaret Richey, his wife of 62 years, predeceased him in January, 2010. He is survived by four children: James Noel (Elysa) of Indianapolis; Stephen Richey (Patricia) of Memphis; Dorothy Montgomery Murphy (Pat) of Decatur, Georgia; and David Martin (Ann Marie) of Toledo. He adored his eleven grandchildren: Nathan (Paula) Montgomery of Indianapolis, Tim (Amber) Montgomery of Decatur, Illinois, and Mary Margaret Montgomery of Indianapolis; Aaron Montgomery of Nashville, and Sumita Montgomery of Memphis; Rita Murphy Harrell (Scott) of Atlanta, Jessica Murphy of Atlanta, and Shannon Murphy of Atlanta; Michael Montgomery (Sarah Grace) of Charlotte, Philip Montgomery (Gulmira) of Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Stephen K. Montgomery of Paducah, Kentucky. He also loved and received great joy from his five great-grandchildren: Noah and Tobin Montgomery, Jack Henry and Lucy Harrell, and Margaret Grace Montgomery. A multitude of nieces and nephews knew him as one who took great care to keep up with them and support them. His faithful "Sabbath Greetings," which he wrote each weekend to all the members of his extended family, will be missed by all. A memorial service will be held at Central Presbyterian Church, 201 Washington Street, SW, Atlanta, on Sunday, September 20 at 2:00 p.m. The family will greet friends at a reception following the service in the church's Tull Hall. Memorials may be given in Howard's name to the Trou Jacques Fund at Central Presbyterian Church.
Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Sep. 5 to Sep. 6, 2015.