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John Benjamin Montgomery, Decatur, Indiana, died Tuesday, July 3, 2018, at 8:45 PM at Adams Memorial Hospital of natural causes. He was 92.
Born November 13, 1925, in Jacksonville, Missouri, John was the sixth of eight children born to Lee Roy and Elizabeth “Lula” Taylor Montgomery. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Eva, and brothers L. R., Howard, Denzel, Herman, Dan, and Harold.
Graduating from Macon High School in 1943, John traveled to Long Beach, California, to work in the shipyards. That same year he was drafted into the army and completed basic training at Camp Roberts, California. Once overseas, he was assigned to the British 8th Army, 736 Field Artillery as a forward observer. After the D-Day invasion, he was reassigned to the U. S. 3rd Army, 3rd Armored (self-mounted armored artillery) 736th Field Artillery, which participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He was mustered out in 1946 after serving as MP in the Army of Occupation at the conclusion of WW2.
Returning to his native Missouri, John attended Kirksville College (now Truman State), receiving a bachelor’s in education in 2.5 years by attending summer school and taking efficiency tests. Over his lifetime, he also earned a master’s degree and a master’s plus degrees, both in educational administration.
While at Kirksville, he met his future wife, Evelyn Jean Wilson, whom he married May 21, 1950. To this union, three children were born: John L. (Rebekah Binkley), Decatur, IN., Mark W. (Lynn Braun), Sun Prairie, WI, and Dana Servatius, Winnebago, IL. They survive. On September 25, 1995, Evelyn preceded him in death.
John began his teaching career in 1952 as the high school science and industrial arts instructor in Esbon, Kansas. In 1955, he became a junior high industrial arts teacher for the Freeport, Illinois, schools. After spending the last three years teaching vocational training in construction trades, John retired in 1986. For a number of years post retirement, he continued to teach driver’s training during the summer months.
John also attended the Nazarene Church, Freeport, IL, and First Baptist Church, Galva, IL. He was also a 32-degree Mason.
In addition to his three children and their wives, John is also survived by six grandsons, John Joel Montgomery (Sarah), Peter Servatius (Bridget), Daniel Montgomery, Heath Hoffman (Katie), Matthew Montgomery, and Alex Montgomery and granddaughter Mary Montgomery Byer (John). A grandson, Timothy John Montgomery, preceded him in death.
Also surviving are three great-grandsons Austin Huggins, Victor Byer, and Benjamin Servatius, and step-grandson Chase Huggins; four great-granddaughters Naomi Byer, Hadley, Harlow, and Hendrix Hoffman; special friend Elizabeth (Betty) Dorsey.
As per John’s wishes, there will be private interments of his ashes in Farmington and Jacksonville, Missouri.