Wayne Montgomery

Wayne Montgomery was a part of our OKGEN Maillist Family,  and the compiler of the "Modesto Bee, San Joaquin Valley,  California obituaries for OKBits.
It is with a sad heart to post this obituary of our friend, we will miss him very much. Posting obituaries is a very time consuming job and I appreciated Wayne's dedication at posting all to OKGEN Maillist and allowing them to be added to OKBits. They will be there for years to come to help Oklahoma and California Researchers, his tribute to us.
Sharon Crawford

Members Responses To The Family

MODESTO BEE, San Joaquin Valley,  California

M. Wayne Montgomery
April 5, 1931 - June 2, 1999

Wayne Montgomery was always drawn to the spotlight. When he wasn't teaching at Riverbank High School, he was acting in Modesto community theater productions or in dramas at his church. "Wayne was always performing," said friend Devona Degnan. "His life was a performance."

Mr. Montgomery died abruptly last weekend at his Dry Creek home of an apparent heart attack. He was 68.
His death came as a shock to his family and friends. He had attended a barbecue on Saturday and appeared fine, said his brother, Gayle Montgomery, of Concord.

Modesto police discovered Mr. Montgomery's body Wednesday in his bedroom after neighbors reported seeing newspapers pile up on his porch.

Over the years, Mr. Montgomery had leading roles in productions at Modesto and Riverbank Community Theatre.

Mr. Montgomery also was one of the first teachers hired at Riverbank High and taught drama, English, journalism and speech 28 years before retiring in 1996. Among the honors he received was the California Teachers Association School Bell Award for Stanislaus County.

"He truly cared about kids and their success," said Riverbank Principal George Brown. "He was a very gentle man."

Mr. Montgomery was an integral part of the First Baptist Church music ministry, said Kevin Friesen, the congregations' music pastor. He served as a member of the church's drama team and performed in most of the church's major productions.

Mr. Montgomery was born in Cordell, Okla., April 5, 1931, and moved with his family to California in the 1940s. He graduated from Denair High School, Modesto Junior College and San Jose State, where he earned a bachelor's degree in English.

He served four years in the US Air Force during the Korean War.

Before becoming a teacher, he served as executive secretary of the San Jose Junior Chamber of Commerce, national chapter consultant for the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and vice president of the San Jose Light Opera Company.

He was also executive director of the Kern County Heart Association, executive manager of the Pittsburg Chamber of commerce and a legislative assistant in the California Assembly.

Mr. Montgomery was strongly affected by the death of his wife two years ago, said Gayle Montgomery. But he continued his community work and briefly returned to teach at Modesto Christian High School.

Wayne Montgomery is survived by his stepchildren Cheryl Miller Moore of Crescent City, Larry Miller of Delhi and Daniel Miller of Atlanta; and brothers Gayle and Charles Eugene Montgomery of Tennessee.

A memorial service is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church of Modesto, 12th and Needham Streets. Colonial Chapel-Franklin & Downs is in charge of the arrangements.


Notes of  Sympathy from the OKGen Maillist Members

Another wonderful person will be sadly missed by all... Always so patient and understanding, his name will bring a smile to our face each time we remember him. Marti Graham

We have lost a friend and a kind and gentle resource. Leona Guthrie.

I just called Wayne Montgomery's home and unfortunately it was our Wayne who died. We will miss his posts of obits and his gentle and pleasant company. Jack Childers

Wayne will be missed very much. He was an asset to the list in his own special way of sending us posts. I hope it brought him as much joy as it did us. It saddens me that he is no longer here, but I am sure he is even happier joining his wife in the hereafter. Paula in Oregon

I lost a good friend too. You all may not know this, so I'm going to tell you.
The Modesto Obit postings Wayne did meant something very special to me. My mother is buried in Modesto at the Stanislau Catholic Cemetery.
About a month ago, I sent Wayne an email to personally thank him for his postings and to tell him about my mother. She was from Oklahoma and Texas and would have liked knowing that someone cared enough to let the rest of the world know where she was and what had happened to her so far away from home.
He sent me a nice email back and I was glad that I had emailed him.
I'll miss him too. I felt like he was a genuine friend to me and to so many others. Even when I didn't read all the postings to this list, I read his.
I know it must have been his time to go - but I wasn't ready to loose him yet, as I'm sure few others were either.
Goodbye, Wayne! And, thank you. Rilla

I'm saddened to hear that this was our Wayne...I enjoyed his posts and his input. I will miss him and my prayers are with his family and friends. Vicki Day-Cook

My Prayers too are with the family of Wayne. Debbie


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