OBITUARY

Mr. James "Jim" H Montague Jr

August 23, 1947March 20, 2021

James “Jim” Montague, 73, died at home on March 20, 2021, after a long illness, with his wife of 32 years, Helen Burke Montague, and other dear ones at his side.

He faced courageously every physical challenge with grace, humor, thoughtfulness, and candor. Illness does not define the story of Jim Montague’s life, however. He lived joyfully and completely as a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, and friend. He cared deeply for everyone he came in contact with and framed every day of his personal and professional life seeking ways to make the world better, more just, and full of hope for others. Jim’s infectious smile could light up a room but it was his dry wit, his sharp intellect, genuine compassion, strong work ethic, uncanny sense of humor, and his steadfast love for his family that were his hallmarks. His selfless contributions to his family, friends, and countless students truly made a difference in the lives of so many. A lifelong educator, Jim began his career at Bishop Hendricken High School as a teacher and counselor and then moved to the College Board, where he supported secondary schools throughout New England. Jim’s appointment at Boston Latin School as Director of Guidance was his dream job. A testament to his extraordinary impact on the BLS community was recognized when he received the Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Award in October 2005. Jim was an avid Boston sports fan and celebrated the ups and downs of the Sox and Pats since he was a kid. He participated in every activity with his family, from fishing and skiing, to biking, mini-golf, and the movies, but his passion was golf, and for years, his would often be the first footsteps in the morning dew at Nehoiden Golf Course. While he was the proud original winner of the Montague Cup and never missed the opportunity to tell the story of his only hole-in-one, nothing truly made him happier than watching his grandkids on the pitch in a soccer match. Jim is survived by his wife Helen, daughter Kristen Papa (Anthony) and son Jason (Julissa) and his four grandchildren, Emma, Katie, and Jenna Papa and Jaxson Montague. In addition, he is survived by his sisters Gail Hoffman of Naperville, IL and Pamela Montague of Doylestown, PA, his sister and brother-in-law Anne and Richard Sadow of Dartmouth, MA, and Thomas Burke of Lemont, IL, along with dear nieces, nephews, and cousins. Jim was predeceased by his brother Jeffrey and his parents James H. and Margaret M. Montague. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts in Jim’s memory be made to the South Coast VNA Hospice (southcoast.org) or to Boston Latin School (BLS.org), where gifts will contribute to a fund for students in need that Jim himself directed during his many years of service to the BLS community.

A private funeral mass (due to COVID restrictions) will be held on Monday, March 29th at St John’s Church in Westport, MA. A memorial gathering in celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a later date to be announced. For on-line guestbook, please visit www.waring-sullivan.com

Services

  • Private Funeral Mass

    Monday, March 29, 2021

Memories

Mr. James "Jim" H Montague Jr

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Barbara Peterlin

April 8, 2021

Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family and friends of Jim Montague. He was the beloved guidance counselor at Boston Latin School who literally impacted each and every student as only Mr. Montague could do. As parents of two daughters who graduated from BLS who were not alphabetically assigned to him, we were amazed at the time, interest and care he still took for our oldest during her Sr., year, which was his last year at BLS. Going above and beyond was his everyday style for the wonderful BLS students! He always took the time to listen when the kids sought out his advice and his door in the guidance office was ALWAYS open. We all can learn from Jim-never too busy to listen. Fly with the angels! May your wonderful spirit be with your family, loved ones and everyone you touched forevermore. Rest in peace


Jim Goodfield

April 6, 2021

Please accept since condolences from the Goodfield family. Mr. Montague was a school treasure and his reputation preceded him to incoming Boston Latin School (BLS) families who were lucky enough to have a student assigned to him, if they had a last name ending in F or G! For us personally, Mr. Montague was a warm and empathetic adult for our older daughter, who experienced significant health issues during her 9th grade at BLS. He skillfully guided and cheered our daughter's spirits even though he had health concerns of his own. We credit Mr. Montague's support for helping get our daughter through a difficult time in her life, graduating with her Boston Latin classmates on-time, and advancing to a selective university in the area of Public Health. We will be forever grateful to Mr. Montague's compassion and determination in guiding Boston Latin students to achieve their dreams.

Timothy Lamont

April 5, 2021

Very sorry to learn of Mr Montague's passing. Please accept my deepest condolences.
Mr Montague was my math teacher back in 1978 but it was as a guidance counsellor during my senior year that he had the greatest impact. During that school year I messed up and my grades really slid. If it were not for Mr Montague writing a fabulous letter of recommendation for me --- and speaking to the admissions officers at BU --- it is unlikely I would have been admitted.
I owed him a great debt. He had faith and it showed.
Thank you, Mr Montague. Rest in peace.

Wendy Skinner

April 4, 2021

It is with great sadness that I learn of Jim's passing. That smile! His big heart. And his love for Helen. He also loved his work and his students. My heart skips a beat remembering Jim and the twinkle in his eye. My love goes out to his kids and grandkids and to his very special wife, Helen.
Love,
Wendy

Jennifer Dorcy

March 31, 2021

Jim made me feel welcome at BLS from my first day there. Every interaction I had with him was like a warm hug from an old friend. He was a beautiful human being and I will miss him.

Tish Peterson

March 31, 2021

Dear Helen,

I was so sorry to learn of Jim's passing. Even though I only knew him through you, it's clear from the numerous messages that he touched many lives and supported his students in a kind and caring way. He was fortunate to have spent over 30 wonderful years with you. Stay strong and rely on those memories to carry you through the tough times. Sending love, Tish

Carol Anne & Tara Beach & Bradley

March 30, 2021

Dear Helen, Jay, Kris and family -

All the memories from friends, family and former students and colleagues from near and far only serve to underscore and illuminate Jim's impact - which of course you know best of all. And we're so grateful for the incredible service you coordinated in Westport which was an absolutely beautiful tribute with such inspiring music and readings.
Jim, and his ever present smile and warmth, live on in our hearts, today and always.

Our deepest sympathies and much love,
Carol Anne & Tara

Bill Gannon

March 29, 2021

Jim was a 1964 graduate of Bishop Hendricken, and a 1969 graduate (and class officer and classmate of mine) at Providence College. My condolences to his family and friends.
Fly high, my friend.

Tony Annicone

March 29, 2021

My deepest condolences to the Montague family. I had Jim as a math teacher my senior year at Hendricken in 1971/72. I finally understood Geometry when he taught College Review Math to my class. He was a terrific teacher and will be greatly missed.

Christine Pluta

March 29, 2021

Jim was a valued colleague and a welcome sight when I visited Boston Latin to recruit his students for college. He was funny, honest, and a trusted sounding board when I needed advice. It hurts to lose him.

FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

James “Jim” Montague, 73, died at home on March 20, 2021, after a long illness, with his wife of 32 years, Helen Burke Montague, and other dear ones at his side.

He faced courageously every physical challenge with grace, humor, thoughtfulness, and candor.

Illness does not define the story of Jim Montague’s life, however. He lived joyfully and completely as a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, and friend. He cared deeply for everyone he came in contact with and framed every day of his personal and professional life seeking ways to make the world better, more just, and full of hope for others. Jim’s infectious smile could light up a room but it was his dry wit, his sharp intellect, genuine compassion, strong work ethic, uncanny sense of humor, and his steadfast love for his family that were his hallmarks. His selfless contributions to his family, friends, and countless students truly made a difference in the lives of so many.

A lifelong educator, Jim began his career at Bishop Hendricken High School as a teacher and counselor and then moved to the College Board, where he supported secondary schools throughout New England. Jim’s appointment at Boston Latin School as Director of Guidance was his dream job. A testament to his extraordinary impact on the BLS community was recognized when he received the Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Award in October 2005.

Jim was an avid Boston sports fan and celebrated the ups and downs of the Sox and Pats since he was a kid. He participated in every activity with his family, from fishing and skiing, to biking, mini-golf, and the movies, but his passion was golf, and for years, his would often be the first footsteps in the morning dew at Nehoiden Golf Course. While he was the proud original winner of the Montague Cup and never missed the opportunity to tell the story of his only hole-in-one, nothing truly made him happier than watching his grandkids on the pitch in a soccer match.

Jim is survived by his wife Helen, daughter Kristen Papa (Anthony) and son Jason (Julissa) and his four grandchildren, Emma, Katie, and Jenna Papa and Jaxson Montague. In addition, he is survived by his sisters Gail Hoffman of Naperville, IL and Pamela Montague of Doylestown, PA, his sister and brother-in-law Anne and Richard Sadow of Dartmouth, MA, and Thomas Burke of Lemont, IL, along with dear nieces, nephews, and cousins. Jim was predeceased by his brother Jeffrey and his parents James H. and Margaret M. Montague.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts in Jim’s memory be made to the South Coast VNA Hospice (southcoast.org) or to Boston Latin School (BLS.org), where gifts will contribute to a fund for students in need that Jim himself directed during his many years of service to the BLS community.

A private funeral mass (due to COVID restrictions) will be held on Monday, March 29th at St John’s Church in Westport, MA. A memorial gathering in celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a later date to be announced. For on-line guestbook, please visit www.waring-sullivan.com