Tom Montgomery Obituary, Death – In Rhinelander, on the 23rd of February in the year 1940, Thomas James Montgomery was brought into the world by his parents, Duke and Dorothy Montgomery. He was the only brother of ‘plenty of sisters’, according to him. Tom spent his childhood on Boom Lake, and throughout his life, he and the lake shared a close relationship.
He enjoyed spending his summers fishing, waterskiing, boating, and swimming. During the winter months, he and his family enjoyed activities such as skiing, tobogganing, and driving snowmobiles. It was a favorite activity of his to go fishing and hunting with his father and other members of the family.
In addition, he assisted his father at Duke’s Outboard Shop in Milwaukee while he was attending Evinrude outboard school there. After earning an associate’s degree in marketing from NCTC and working for a couple of years at Marathon Electric, he left the company. After earning a degree in Marketing and Business Education from the University of Wisconsin–Stout, he spent the next 27 years working as a teacher at Wausau West High School.
During that time, I was able to get a Master’s Degree in Business Education from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. He was an ambitious and brilliant educator who was much liked by his students and was known to them as Monty. During that time, he was also the DECA Coordinator, where he was responsible for facilitating amazing opportunities for the students he worked with.
Tom Taft tied the knot with Deyonne Taft in 1972, and for the next 33 years, the couple remained in the home they had shared on Schroeder Drive. Mary Beth (Mike) Mattes and Susan (Dan) Teteak are their two daughters who were born as a result of their union. They went fishing, camping, and on RV trips together, as well as spending many holidays and vacations traveling between their parent’s homes in Chetek and Rhinelander.
The family dog, Princess, accompanied them on all of these adventures. Many evenings and weekends were spent merrily conversing and joking with neighbors while seated at their own dining room tables. Tom and Dee traveled quite a bit, and occasionally they did so as passengers in the motor home owned by Tom’s sister Mary Ann and brother-in-law Ron. They had a combined knowledge of several different restaurants that served breakfast.
Tom and Dee moved in with Tom’s mother and father in 2007 so that they could be closer to the bay and enjoy fishing from the boat, the pier, or even through a hole in the ice. These were some of the happiest years of Tom and Dee’s life. Being on his fishing boat was one of his favorite things to do, and he especially enjoyed it when it was parked in the driveway so that he could work on it for extended periods of time.
Other things that Tom enjoyed were spending Christmas in the quaint town of Door County with his wife, children, and grandchildren; fishing vacations on the Great Lakes; birthdays (especially his own); World War II shows; Green Bay Packer games; tinkering; and coming up with inventive solutions to problems.
He didn’t say much in the later years of his life, but that’s probably because he didn’t need to. He had developed loving, long-lasting connections that did not require any verbal expression. His laugh was infectious, and you couldn’t help but join in on the fun whenever he flashed that warm smile.