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Julius Marvin Montgomery

30 mai , 192922 janvier , 2020
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Julius Marvin Montgomery, the oldest of 12 children born to Edward Perkins “E.P.” Montgomery, Sr. and Queen Ester Jackson, was born on May 30, 1929, in Homewood, Alabama. The Montgomerys lived in Rosedale, an area settled by former slaves after the Civil War and Homewood’s oldest neighborhood.

After graduating from Rosedale High School, a school founded by his uncle, Julius continued his education at Tuskegee Institute, where he earned a B.S. degree. From there, Julius enlisted in the U.S Air Force and served proudly for four and a half years. Upon leaving the military, Julius worked briefly as a radio station engineer in Mobile, Alabama before signing on with RCA in 1956. Julius was one of the "range rats" who tracked and repaired missiles and rockets fired from Cape Canaveral. When Julius started at RCA, he was the first Black to serve at Cape Canaveral’s space facility in a role other than janitor. His early days at RCA are chronicled in the 2015 book, We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program by Richard Paul and Steven Moss.

Julius settled in Melbourne, Florida, buying a home there in 1958. Two years later, on June 26, 1960, he married Gertrude King and, together, they had two daughters: Gaye and Lisa. Julius and Gertrude were inseparable. Their shared passion for political engagement at the local, state and national levels made them a potent force for good. Gertrude died on Christmas Eve 2003. Julius subsequently developed a close and loving friendship with Mrs. Annie Lewis, who would be his companion until her death in 2015.

In 1969, Julius became the first Black City Councilman of the “new” City of Melbourne after its merger with the neighboring city of Eau Gallie. He served on the Council until 1977. It would be more than thirty-five years before another African-American would be elected to the City Council. During his tenure, Julius fought diligently to get – and keep – African- Americans on the City’s municipal boards to ensure that the interests of Melbourne’s black community were represented.

Julius was a dedicated servant of the community, serving as President of the Florida Association of Black Elected Officials, President of the Greater Melbourne chapter of the NAACP, Vice President of the South Brevard Council of Human Relations, Vice Chairman of the Brevard Democratic Executive Committee, and member of the Board of Directors of the South Brevard YMCA. Julius also served on the Melbourne Airport Authority, the Civil League of Melbourne, the Banana River Power Squadron, and the Brevard Democratic Executive Committee for more than a decade. Julius retired from RCA in 1988 after more than thirty years of faithful service and started a general contracting business, Montgomery Construction Sales and Service, Inc. the same year.

Julius made history when he integrated Brevard Engineering College, now the Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech). In recognition of his pioneering spirit, in 2006, Florida Tech honored him with the first Julius Montgomery Pioneer Award, an award given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the community. Julius was also named one of Florida Tech’s 60 notable alumni on the occasion of Florida Tech’s 60th anniversary, and,shortly before he died, Florida Tech honored Julius with its highest award, an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Julius laughed often and had many interests. He was an avid reader and read the newspaper every day until his eyesight failed him. Julius was a licensed ham radio operator and a competitive table tennis player for many years. He built sophisticated model airplanes and complex model train vignettes and spent many evenings listening to his wide-ranging collection of LPs on high-fidelity speakers he built himself.

From the time he moved to Melbourne until he could no longer drive, Julius was a faithful member of Greater Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he was a longtime Steward and Steward Emeritus. Together with Gertrude, he instilled in his children the practice of weekly church attendance and encouraged their wholehearted engagement in the life of the church.

Julius died on January 22, 2020 at Opis Indian River Center nursing home. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gertrude King Montgomery; his special friend, Mrs. Annie Lewis; his sisters, Sylvia, Portia and Paula Montgomery, Erma Guest and Brunetta Hutchinson; his niece, Toni Hutchinson; his nephews, Cleo Guest, Jr. and Courtney Turner; and his parents, “E.P.” Montgomery and Queen Ester Montgomery. He leaves to cherish his memory two daughters, Gaye Montgomery and Lisa Montgomery, PhD.; two grandchildren, Jordan Lee and Briana Lee; six siblings, Doris Cook, Artney Turner (Herman), Edward Montgomery, Jr., Carl Montgomery, Rita Poole and Holly Montgomery; a host of nieces and nephews; and many special friends.

A Visitation will beheld on Thursday, January 30, 2020, 4:00pm-6:00 pm at the Life Event Center at Florida Memorial, 5950 US Highway 1, Rockledge, Florida. A Funeral Service will be Friday, January 31, 2020, 1:00p at Greater Allen Chapel AME Church, 2416 Lipscomb Street, Melbourne, Florida with interment to follow at Florida Memorial Gardens.

Services

  • Visitation jeudi, 30 janvier , 2020
  • Funeral Service vendredi, 31 janvier , 2020

Souvenirs

Julius Marvin Montgomery

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Susan Cunningham Glover

28 janvier , 2020

Our deepest sympathy to the Montgomery family during this difficult time. It is such a blessing and honor to have known such a giant of a man who accomplished so much in his lifetime during challenging times for a black man. May God grant you peace, strength, and understanding today and the days ahead. May he R.I.P. —The Cunningham Family

Shirley Morgan Barnett

26 janvier , 2020

My condolences to the family. May God continue to Bless and strengthen you as you go through this trying time. Remember God is the answer. E.P. take care. God is still in the blessing business. Classmate of 1960.

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