2008-09-10 / Obituaries

Eileen C. Montgomery

Eileen Curtin Montgomery, 78, of Cold Spring, died at her Cold Spring home on Tuesday, September 2, 2008.

Eileen was born the youngest of five children to Charles and Eleanor (Sullivan) Curtin on August 13, 1930 in Newburgh. Her family originally resided in the Belle Harbor section of Queens, N.Y. and spent summers at Popolopen Lake, now part of West Point.

During her early years at Rockaway Beach and Popolopen Lake Eileen developed a keen appreciation for family, nature and water sports, which she carried for her entire life. Her family lost their summer bungalow on Popolopen Lake in 1939 due to the expansion of West Point in preparation for World War II. Eileen attended St. Saviour High School in Brooklyn, NY and Notre Dame College of Staten Island. During her school years Eileen developed a lifelong passion for teaching and a deep devotion to her Catholic faith. After college graduation Eileen began a teaching career in New York City schools in 1953.

In 1956 Eileen accepted a teaching assignment at a Department of Defense Dependents' Overseas School in Okinawa, Japan. Enroute to Okinawa on a troop ship she met Ralph Montgomery from Downey, California 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.

She returned to United States in 1959 settling in Cold Spring, where she and Ralph raised nine children. Eileen continued her teaching career at Haldane and then eventually returned full time to New York City schools until retirement in 1992. Eileen was a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a professional honor society of women educators, and Laubach Literacy International, which champions adult literacy causes.

Eileen was an active parishioner at Our Lady of Loretto Church, where she taught in the C.C.D. program. She was an active member of the Haldane PTA and served as PTA President.

In 1992 Eileen and Ralph retired to their farm in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. In retirement Eileen met many new friends, gave reading lessons to prison inmates, hosted memorable family reunions and introduced her many grandchildren to life at The Farm.

She is survived by her nine 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), her sisters Eleanor Smith (Queensbury, NY), and Joan Smith (Saratoga, NY), twentyseven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was predeceased by her husband (Ralph) and a grandchild (John Henry Coursen).

Clinton Funeral Home in Cold Spring is in charge of arrangements.

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