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John Henry Montgomery was born May 5, 1937 in Erie, Pennsylvania to Ruth Corcoran Montgomery.  His father, Henry Montgomery, had passed away from pneumonia a few months prior to John’s birth.  John was raised by his mother and step-father, Edward M. Healey.  John passed away February 21, 2019 at Mountain View Regional Hospital in Las Cruces, NM.
John grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. As a youngster, he worked along side his mother, picking fruits and vegetables for many of the farms in the area.  He milked cows before school at a local dairy.   Even in elementary school, he wasn’t interested in schoolwork.  Frequently he would skip school, walk down to the Bay where the sailing ship, the USS Niagara, was docked.  He said he spent many happy hours played both on deck and below.  As he grew older, he worked with several of his uncles. They taught him carpentry, brick laying, stone masonry, electrical and plumbing and automotive repair.
At the age of fourteen, John ran away from home, lied about his age and joined the military.  He served in both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force for a total of 10 years, 4 months and 21 days.   He was wounded in combat in Korea during the Korean Conflict.  He was stationed in Berlin, Germany for a time, where he was a guard at Spandau Prison.  He told some interesting stories about guarding Nazi war Criminals - Hess, Speer, and Van Schirach.
Later he was assigned to Search and Rescue in Alaska when the earthquake of 1964 struck.  He had a front-row seat for it; he was in the JC Penney building in Anchorage when the front of the building collapsed.  He described how he tossed a 90-year old woman over his shoulder and carried her down the stairs from the second floor to safety.
Following his military service, he lived in numerous places and held a variety of jobs.  In the early 1970’s, he moved his family to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he lived for the next 20 plus years.  During those years, he worked in building construction and eventually owned and operated several businesses.  He owned AAA Automotive Machine Shop, where he remanufactured automobile and racing engines.  He also owned White Dove Gallery in Old Town, specializing in Native American turquoise jewelry, Navajo rugs and blankets, Indian pots and baskets, and Western (cowboy) art.
In 1985 during one of his many weekend trips to Elephant Butte Lake, he walked into Blue Waters Saloon, and met Robbie Lee McNutt, who was tending bar.  He told her at that time, “I’m going to marry you someday and make your life miserable.”  Her reply was, “Absolutely not! No way, Jose! When Hell freezes over!” and several other phrases meaning no. For the next two years, the relationship was rocky, to say the least. Every time he came in the bar, she threw him out.  But he was persistent.  After 16 years of “interviewing” him, they were married on March 24, 2001.
In the early 1990’s John sold his interest in AAA Machine Shop to his partner and “retired.”  In 1994, he moved to Las Cruces, NM to join Robbie Lee.  He enjoyed retirement until 2002, when he went to work for his buddy, Duane Rigg, at Rigg Distributing in Las Cruces.
In 2005, Robbie retired and drug John, kicking and screaming, to Winston, NM. Never having lived in the country, the experience was pretty traumatic for him.  But he soon adjusted.  He learned to love the community and the people in it.  After caring for his father-in-law, Alvin Howell, for the last two years of his life, John helped take care of neighbors - Jay Cox, Richard Tise, and Hank Rosberg.
In 2014, John’s health had deteriorated greatly. It broke his heart when the couple had to leave his beloved Winston and move to the lower altitude of T. or C.  But, once again, he adapted and was content to live there until his final days.
John’s cardiologist summed it up pretty well when he wrote in John’s medical chart, “He was a tough old bird, but he was one of my favorites.”  
John is survived by his wife of 17 years, Robbie Montgomery; daughters - Tammy (John) Parisotto of Edgewood, NM, and Kimberly (Jim) Evans of Lake Ariel, PA; son, Brian Shawn Montgomery, of Edgewood, NM; sister, Ruth “Sissy” Kubeja, of Erie, PA; eight grandchildren, eight great grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He is also survived by stepdaughter, Sharon (Travis) Luna, of Winston, NM; and seven step grandchildren, and five step great grandchildren.
John was preceded in death by his father, Henry Montgomery; his mother and stepfather, Ruth and Ed Healey; brothers - Mickey and PeeWee Healey; daughters - Terrie Janicki-Engberg and Valerie Davis of PA; grandsons - Justin Janicki and Mikel Evans, of PA; and step children - Richard McNutt and Henri Jo Muncy.
Cremation has taken place, and a memorial service celebrating John’s life will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at 1:00 PM at the WCC&D Community Center in Winston, NM.  Frank Lacy will conduct the service and music will be by Randy Lack.  A pot-luck meal will follow the service.


John Henry Montgomery
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  • Monday, February 25, 2019
    The staff of Kirikos Family Funeral Home, Inc. will keep you and your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to assist you in your time of need.
    ~ Kirikos Family Funeral Home
  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019
    Dad, I love you and miss you already. I'm so blessed to have had the last several years to get to know you and spend time with you. You are now pain free and with Terri, Val, Justin and Michael. Enjoy their company. Love Kim.
    ~ Kimberly Evans (Montgomery)   Lake Ariel, PA
  • Tuesday, February 26, 2019
    What a long life your loved one had, however it does not diminish the sting of death. Psalm 90:10 says that the days of our years are 70 years, And if because of special mightiness they are 80 years. May the memories of the wonderful times you shared together bring a smile and joy in your heart.
    ~ Maria A   Dallas, TX
  • Monday, February 25, 2019
    Bye John...…………...Ken
    ~ kenneth Riedemann   t or c
  • Tuesday, February 26, 2019
    My condolences to the family
  • Saturday, March 16, 2019
    We're so sorry to hear you are suffering the loss of your dear loved one. May you find strength and some comfort in the words found in Nahum 1:7 which reads: ”Jehovah is good, a stronghold in the day of distress. He is mindful of those seeking refuge in him.” Our loving God cares about us and is ready to bring us comfort if we allow him (1John 5:14). He also has made the provision of a resurrection RIGHT HERE ON EARTH when it is restored into a beautiful paradise (Acts 24:15; Isaiah 55:11). Can you see yourself welcoming back to life your dear loved one? Find out more about this resurrection online at JW.ORG
    ~ R&R Lopez