Dateline: September 26, 2002
Smith “Bill” Montgomery, age 88, of Clarendon and Memphis, Texas, went
to be with the Lord on Tuesday, September 17, 2002.
were be at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 19, 2002, at the First
Presbyterian Church in Clarendon with Lay Pastor Rick Massick officiating.
Burial were Citizen’s Cemetery in Clarendon.
Arrangements were by Robertson Funeral Directors in Clarendon.
Montgomery was born in Clarendon on February 6, 1914. He grew up in the home that is still occupied by his nephew,
Montye Smith and wife, Linda. He
received his education in the Clarendon schools. He continued his education as an apprentice to his father in
farming and ranching. His
father, Will and twin brother, Jim, homesteaded land in Hall County when
they were 18 years of age in 1890. He
was always mindful of his heritage and remained a faithful steward o the
land he farmed and ranched.
and his brothers, Paul and Joe Montgomery, owned and operated independent
farming and ranching businesses in Hall County. His children and his nephews and nieces continue their
connection to the land. Cattle
ranching was not only Bill’s vocation but also his hobby.
He was one of those rare individuals who truly loved what he did
for a profession. His cow
horses worked with him and for him and were his loyal friends.
He was still riding his horse at 80 years of age, even though he
had to have a lift up. He
never really retired. He
bought and sold cattle this past year.
Montgomery’s work ethic has been passed on to his children,
grandchildren, great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. He taught them
“if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”
He taught them the value of a good education. He challenged them “to lead the way regardless of the
task.” He told them “get up and get back on” when the horse threw
them. He believed that his
children should “rise and shine and listen to the birdies sing.”
As a survivor of the depression era, he always remembered the
importance of saving, never wasting a dime, and protecting what he had
earned. He believed and lived
the truisms, “a penny saved is a penny earned” and “waste not, want
married Faye R. Higgins on July 1, 1934, in the parlor of the First
Presbyterian Church of Memphis. Three
children were born to them, JoAnne Montgomery Moore, William Grady
Montgomery, and Sherry Noel Montgomery Semrad.
Grady preceded his father in death in 1969.
Montgomery was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church in
Clarendon, where he served as an elder just like his father before him.
His parents were the first couple to marry in the First
Presbyterian Church of Clarendon.
include two daughters, JoAnne Moore and husband James of Canyon Lake,
Texas, and Sherry Semrad and husband James of Tucson, Arizona; five
grandchildren, Terri Truitt Griffiths and husband John of Houston, Tanya
Truitt Puroff and husband Chris of Amarillo, Melissa Semrad and husband
Marco Vera of St. Paul, Minnesota, Matt Semrad and wife Shelly Watkins of
Dallas, Michelle Semrad of Los Angeles, California; five great
grandchildren, Nicholas and Leah Puroff of Amarillo, Katrin Snider and
Mateo Vera of St. Paul and Ari Vaclav Hardarson of Los Angeles.
leaves with them memories of a truly unique individual.
He nicknamed each and every family member from “Dogface” and
“Hinkly-Dink” to “Holy Terror,” “Tiger Tom,” “Ye Ole
Melissa,” “Matt Dillon,” and “Mee Shell.”
They treasure the “RrrranDadisms,” such as “I’m gonna
cleanup the car and take it dancing” or “rattle my hocks.”
He loved dancing to “Star Dust,” “I Left My Heart in San
Francisco” and other Big Band music.
He loved singing hymns accompanied by his mother or at church.
He said, “I want to keep climbing to another branch on the tree
and be careful about breaking a limb on the way up.” Even as his health
failed, sparks of humor surfaced. He
answered a question about how he was feeling with a quip, “Oh, about
grandson, Matt, read and re-read Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth because the
book strongly brought his Granddad to mind. He thinks the central
character misses his Granddad’s affection, toughness, and humor. Nevertheless, many of the passages are reminiscent of the
life Granddad lived. As he
leaves us this autumn, the harvest is bountiful from the seeds he has
sewn. He is proud of his
children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
He is the last of the real cowboys.
was preceded in death by his parents, William M. and Sarah; brothers Paul
and Joe; and his sister, Edna Louise Smith.
Three other siblings, John Calvin, Clara Careen, and Willie Clinton
died in early childhood.
family suggests that memorial be made to the First Presbyterian Church in
Clarendon or to BSA Hospice of Amarillo.
Copyright © 2002, The Clarendon Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.