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OBITUARY

Emma Jean (Barclay) Montgomery

June 24, 1928April 3, 2019
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Emma “Jean” (Barclay) Montgomery, 90, beloved wife, mother of two, grandmother to two, and great-grandmother to five, passed away from pulmonary failure brought on by pneumonia on April 3, 2019 in Mesa, Arizona. At the time of her death, she was living with her daughter in Mesa. She was greatly loved by all who knew her as a sweet, kind, fun, and loving person.

Jean was born on June 24, 1928 in Tryon, OK to Guy Everett Barclay and Clemmie Lee (Little) Barclay, and enjoyed a happy childhood with her six siblings and half-siblings there and in California. Her older sister, Nellie Eileen (Barclay) Davis and older brother, Sylvester Max Barclay were born to her father Guy Barclay and his first wife, Elsie (Waters) Barclay, in 1917 and 1918, respectively. Elsie passed away in 1922, and three years later, Guy married Clemmie Lee Little, who gave birth to five children – Doris Lee (Barclay) Moats (1926-2018), Jean (1928-2019), Daret Gale “Pete” Barclay (1930-2007), Peggy Lou (Barclay) Montgomery (1934-2000), and Wayne Edward Barclay (1936 – living).

Jean graduated from Tryon High School around 1945, and in 1946, she met Monte Joe Montgomery at a high school basketball game while he was on leave from the U.S. Army Air Corps as a medic. Within days – literally, 17 days -- they courted and then married at her parents’ home in Tryon. Right away, Joe shipped off to occupied Japan, and was gone six months. She worked in the local Woolworth store as a clerk while he was gone, where she purchased a large cedar Hope Chest that is still in the family. Shortly after his discharge from military service, they followed her older sister, Eileen, and her husband, Lee Davis, to California where Joe began a merchandising and management career with the J.C.Penney Company in Visalia, CA. In 1948, their only son, Stephen Gale Montgomery, was born while on a visit to Oklahoma. Four years later, their only daughter, Marilyn Jo Montgomery, was born in Watsonville, CA. Eventually, both of Jean's parents and in-laws moved out to California, and all but one of her siblings and all of Joe’s siblings came out to California as well, mostly centered in and around the Visalia area. There were lots of wonderful family gatherings over the next several decades.

It was a good thing that they loved moving around and making new friends along the way, because Penney’s transferred them up and down California often during his career -- each one bringing an ever-higher promotion. After Visalia, they were transferred to Watsonville, then Sunnyvale, back to Watsonville, then Santa Barbara, Salinas, Delano, and Hemet. Jean worked as a bookkeeper, clerk, and teller during those years.

In Salinas, she became very involved in Republican politics and campaigned hard for Ronald Reagan for Governor. In fact, she was flown to Washington, DC, and awarded by the Republican National Committee for recruiting the most new members to the party – more than any other recruiter in the party, male or female -- during Reagan’s first run for Governor.

In Delano in 1974, she got her real estate sales license, and became one of the most successful agents Delano had ever seen. She loved it, and continued that career in Hemet, when Joe was transferred there to manage a brand new JC Penney store.

They both retired from their respective careers in 1987, and you would have thought they would settle down, but they did just the opposite! They purchased one of several RVs they were to own, and they hit the road, canvassing the entire U.S. to find the perfect spot to retire. They finally settled on Redding, CA, as did Joe’s brother, Sam, and his wife Peggy (who was Mom’s younger sister). They had several years of fun in and around Redding, and on the road touring the U.S. and Canada in their RV and fifth wheel.

In 1995, Jean was suddenly rushed into double by-pass surgery, even though she had only mild symptoms of arterial issues. Years later, it was learned that the hospital and two surgeons in particular, had been performing unnecessary surgeries for many years, and hers was one of them. She is even mentioned in the book “Coronary” which was published later to document the entire saga.

They remained in Redding until 2003, when they moved to Mesa, AZ, to be closer to their daughter. While there, they became members of the Velda Rose United Methodist Church, and the local VFW chapter. Joe also purchased season tickets every year for the SF Giants’ spring training games in Scottsdale.

In 2007, with Joe’s health failing, they and their daughter moved out to the Atlanta, GA area to be closer to their son and his wife, children, and grandchildren. Tragically, Joe passed away within 3 weeks of arriving in Georgia. Jean and Marilyn continued living in Georgia for a total of 10 years, but the first several years after Joe’s death were a trying time for Jean. Within months of Joe’s passing, she was diagnosed with a cancerous mass that had landed on her right ureter, backing up her right kidney. Fortunately, the chemo and radiation were successful in eradicating the cancer, but it was too late to save the kidney. Then, right after the treatments, she fell and broke her right femur bone, and because of the recent cancer treatments, she had to spend months in a rehab facility. When she finally got home, she began experiencing sudden fainting spells and falls that caused terrible damage to her arms and legs. Finally, they inserted a pacemaker in 2010 to strengthen her heart output, and at last, she was able to enjoy her life in Georgia with her children, grandchildren, and g-grandchildren coming over often for birthday, anniversary, and holiday parties at her house. She even enjoyed traveling again. Her daughter took her to family reunions in Texas and California, and to Arizona to see her old friends and play lots of bingo. She also enjoyed local trips around Georgia and Tennessee. She particularly loved attending the Gwinnett Braves minor league baseball team who had a beautiful stadium in nearby Buford, GA.

In 2013, Marilyn purchased a retirement/vacation home in Mesa, AZ, so they could travel back to Mesa for 3-4 months at a time each year in the fall. In 2015, she broke her other femur bone while at home in Georgia, and although the rehab went relatively quickly, she needed a walker and transport chair nearly every day to get around after that. But that didn't keep her down. In 2017, at the age of 88, she made one last move. She and her daughter decided to return to Mesa, AZ as permanent residents once again so that she could enjoy the warmer weather, spring training games, her old friends, community potlucks, and bingo “to her heart’s content”. And she loved every minute of it. In early 2018, she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure after several visits to the hospital. But ever the “trooper”, she was able to bounce back, and enjoyed another year with her friends and daughter before a bout with pneumonia finally took her from us. The world is a much darker place without her.

Jean is survived by her son, Stephen Montgomery, and daughter-in-law, Sherry, of Canton, GA; her daughter, Marilyn Montgomery, of Mesa, AZ; her grandson Adam Montgomery, his wife Jennie, and their son Jack, of Canton, GA; and her grand-daughter, Erin Lehinten, her husband, Michael, and their four children, Madelynn, Megan, Noah Joe, and Bella, of Cumming, GA. In addition, she is survived by her brother Wayne Barclay, and his wife, Trophy, in Fresno, CA; her brother-in-law, Sam Montgomery and his wife Jo Ann, in Olympia, Washington; her brother-in-law, George Montgomery in Tulsa, OK; along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins in several states across the U.S..

Two services are scheduled: *********************************************************************************************************************** A memorial service and reception will be held at the Apache Wells Community Church to celebrate her life on April 12, 2019, at 2115 N. Gayridge Rd, Mesa, AZ, 85215 starting at 2:00 pm.

A second service and reception will follow on April 26, 2019, at 2:00 pm at the Buford First United Methodist Church at 285 E Main St. NE, in Buford, GA 30518.

Following that service, her ashes will be interred at Broadlawn Memorial Gardens, 5979 New Bethany Rd, Buford, GA, next to her husband Joe’s ashes.

******************************************************************************************************************************************************** Need to make travel arrangements for one of Jean's services?

The Lakeshore Mortuary offers travel arrangement assistance through the Dignity Memorial® Bereavement Travel Program. Just call 1-800-224-4177 to speak with one of our travel specialists.

Should the specialist ask for a reference number or code, please provide code "2414".

******************************************************************************************************************************************************** Jean's Favorite Charity

VFW National Home for Children, 3573 South Waverly Rd, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827

Services

26 April

Memorial Service

2:00 pm

Buford First United Methodist Church

285 E. Main St. NE
Buford, Georgia 30518

26 April

Committal Service

Broadlawn Memorial Gardens

5979 New Bethany Road
Buford, Georgia

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Memorial Service Friday, April 12, 2019
  • Celebration of Life - Reception Friday, April 12, 2019
REMEMBERING

Emma Jean (Barclay) Montgomery

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Lisa Moran

April 11, 2019

Condolences to Jean's family.

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