To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Such are the words from the King James Version of Ecclesiastes 3: 1
We see so much of the life of Dr. Ron Montgomery in those words. And it is to him and the seasons of his life that we pay tribute today.
Montgomery was taken far too soon from us this week, a young 67-year-old man who loved life, cherished his family, lived by his faith and served his church and community well. He was the epitome of a kind, genteel spirit, a man who walked through the seasons of his life serving a tremendous purpose each step of the way.
A lifelong educator, Montgomery will always be remembered for his dedication to children, from those in Guilford County who learned science and math under his tutelage and youngsters at Rena Bullock and Jamestown Elementary, where he was lead administrator to the thousands in Clinton City Schools who he fought for day after day as assistant superintendent for the school system. He was such a strong advocate of children, that Montgomery began another season as chief of Hyde County Schools, leading the entire system and supporting its children for eight years.
Although he retired from public education after leaving Hyde County, Montgomery never retired from supporting children or their educational well being, and because of his love of one and belief in both, he accepted a job as headmaster of Harrells Christian Academy, staying their 10 years.
At Harrells, Montgomery opened his heart and his faith to the youngsters who walked the halls each day, and he led by example, always willing to lend a helping hand, a listening ear or a needed smile. Harrells flourished because of him, and the school took on an even more welcoming appeal than it had before Dr. Ron came aboard.
He did so well at HCA, that Montgomery was chosen to lead a group of believers as the founding headmaster of Elizabethtown Christian Academy, an educational institution that grew exponentially under his guidance.
Such was the season of Montgomery’s educational life.
But he was so much more than an educator. Montgomery was a selfless human being, a devout Christian who served his Lord throughout the seasons of his life. As Sunday school teacher, deacon, minister of music, choir director, song leader and moderator, Montgomery used his God-given talents in the ways he believed were the Lord’s will. And hundreds, if not thousands benefited from those gifts.
Then there was husband, father and grandfather, perhaps the names Montgomery cherished being called the most. He relished each role. He was over the moon in love with his wife of 44 years, Bennie, and he loved each of his children immeasurably. When Montgomery was assistant superintendent of Clinton City Schools, he often talked with great pride about his children’s accomplishments to reporters for this newspaper, showing the latest pictures, regaling them with stories, a smile plastered across his face, admiration evident in the way his eyes lit up each time he called one of their names.
And then there were his grandchildren, the loves of his life. To say he cherished them would be an understatement. In them, Montgomery saw the future, a bright promise of tomorrow.
In the seasons of Montgomery’s life, he touched a lot of people, making them laugh, allowing them to feel loved and providing them opportunities to excel.
As the writer of Ecclesiastes pointed out, that there is a time to be born and a time to die, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance
For those who loved Montgomery, the time now is for weeping and mourning, but there will come a season again when laughter will return and the man will be celebrated as is fitting someone like him — a man for all seasons, a man whose legacy will live on through his family and the countless lives he touched along the way.