Ralph Montgomery, 78, of Cold Spring and West Burlington, PA died at his Cold Spring home on Wednesday, January 03, 2007, following a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born the youngest of nine children to Tobias Esto and Georgina Maudina Montgomery on January 1, 1929 in Wayne, Oklahoma. His family fled Oklahoma in 1934 amid the Great Depression and Dust Bowl that disrupted many families. They traveled west on Route 66 in a 'Grapes of Wrath' like experience, stopping for several years in Scottsdale, Arizona where Ralph attended elementary school. His family eventually settled in Downey, California where he played football and graduated from Downey High School.
He earned an Associate's Degree from Fullerton College, then worked in Alaska before being drafted into the Army and serving in Japan from 1950- 1952. After completing military service he earned a Bachelor's Degree at Whittier College (California) in 1954 and began a teaching career in California.
In 1956 Ralph accepted a teaching assignment at a Department of Defense Dependents' Overseas School in Okinawa, Japan. Enroute to Okinawa on a troop ship he met Eileen Curtin from New York City, who was traveling to a teaching assignment at the same school. Ralph and Eileen married on February 21, 1957 in Okinawa and lived in a house overlooking the China Sea with their first two children.
He returned to United States in 1959 settling in Cold Spring, NY where he and Eileen raised nine children. He worked as a teacher, speech therapist, and speech pathologist for Haldane School, Putnam Valley Schools, B.O.C.E.S. and in private practice. He also worked as a mail carrier in Cold Spring and Garrison. Ralph earned a Master's Degree in Speech Pathology from the New York University in 1969.
He was an active parishioner and lector at Our Lady of Loretto Church and member of Loretto Council #536 of the Knights of Columbus. He was recently inducted into the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. He served on the Philipstown Planning Board, Haldane School Board, and Philipstown Republican Committee. He was a founding member of the North Highlands Fire Department and Treasurer for the Cub Scouts. His proudest service was to his family as a dedicated and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
In 1992 he and Eileen retired to their farm in Bradford County, Pennsylvania where he realized a life long dream of returning to an agricultural community.
He is survived by his wife, Eileen of Cold Spring, children: John (Hanover, NH), Paul (Petersburgh, NY), Elizabeth Coursen (Pawling, NY), Kathleen Hanson (Stanardsville, VA), Eileen Raleigh (Darien, CT), James (Cotati, CA), Charles (Mims, FL), Mary Ellen Yannitelli (Garrison), and Nancy Montgomery (Cold Spring), his brother Harold (Goodyear, AZ), his sister Laura Ella Summit (Healdsburg, CA), twentyseven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was predeceased by one grandchild.
A Mass of Christina Burial was held at Our Lady of Loretto Church, 24 Fair St, Cold Spring on Friday, January 5th at 11:30am followed by interment at Cold Spring Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of the Clinton Funeral Home.