In Remembrance: Spencer Montgomery Jr. ’37 Died on October 26 2017

Spencer Montgomery Jr. died in his home on Thursday, October 26, 2017, just three short weeks after his 103rd birthday. 

Spen was born October 5, 1914, in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Spencer Montgomery and Kathryn Barber Street.  He lived much of his first 90 years in Suffield, Connecticut, graduating from Suffield Academy in 1933 and Yale University in 1937. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, from which he was honorably discharged as a major in 1947. He was stationed in Europe and northern Africa during much of his service, and was able to recount every detail of this time, right up until his last breath.  He met his wife of 71 years, Mary Ellen “Skeeter” Montgomery, while stationed in Texas at the end of his service career and they married in 1946. He began working at the Travelers Insurance Co., but he quickly took the reins at the family wire manufacturing company, the Montgomery Company in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, where he remained until retirement in 1990.  Spen and Skeeter traveled extensively, visiting such places as Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, Japan, most of the European countries, the fjords in Norway, Cairo, Prague, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, South America, Canada, as well as much of the continental US.  A great athlete, he swam, played baseball, and was an avid golfer, beginning when he was 11 and ending the year he turned 99.  He shot an 86 at a championship golf course when he was 96, although he always said that he played from the “green tees” then.

Spen was fiercely loyal to family and good friends; family first, except in early April when watching the Masters took precedence.  He was always interested in learning about people he met and he never forgot even the smallest detail.  There was never a doubt where he stood on any subject.  After he had to give up playing golf, he was found most days at Starbucks and Five Guys or Checkers. Spen was a lifetime member of First Congregational Church of Suffield, Connecticut; Suffield Country Club; the Moorings Club of Vero Beach; Stonington Country Club;  and the Wadawanuck Club In Stonington,.

He was predeceased by his wife, Mary “Skeeter” Montgomery, sister Ruth Tryon, brother Street Montgomery, and son Spencer Montgomery III.  He is survived by his sister, June Parker of Oklahoma City, daughter Mary Ellen McCarthy of Vero Beach, son William Waller IV of Jupiter, son Mark Montgomery of North Carolina, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

A reception to celebrate Spencer’s life will be at the Moorings Club at 4 pm on Saturday, November 25. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the George M. Montgomery Scholarship Fund at Suffield Academy, Main Street, Suffield, CT 06078; or Vero Beach VNA Hospice, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

—Submitted by the family.

Editor's note: At the time of his death, Spencer Montgomery was serving as corresponding secretary for the Class of 1937.  A loyal and dedicated alumnus, since January of 2012 he had faithfully kept his classmates in touch with each other by writing the 1937 Class Notes column for the Yale Alumni Magazine. We are sorry to lose him!

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