Martel Montgomery, 1931 – 2015

(Third from left) Martel Montgomery awarding inaugural David Montgomery Prize
Martel Montgomery (third from left) awarding inaugural David Montgomery Prize to Stacey L. Smith (far left), with LAWCHA past president Michael Honey (left) and Julie Greene (far right), members of the Montgomery Book Award Committee.

Martel Wilcher Montgomery, beloved wife and partner in life of David Montgomery, passed away on June 3, 2015 at the Crosslands Community in Kennett Square, PA, where she and David had made their home since leaving New Haven. Her sons, Claude and Ed, organized a celebration of her life that brought together family and friends on June 8 for music, poetry, and shared remembrances of a life well lived. She had grown up in a proud working-class family, whose lives were deeply engaged in politics and union activism on the Southside of Chicago. She carried forward those values and that activism in her own life.

She is remembered by, among others, the large cadre of labor history graduate students, who came to Pittsburgh or New Haven to study with David and who discovered in Marty (as she was affectionately known) a person who cared deeply about them and their lives and who became a mentor and source of inspiration. She will be deeply missed by those of us who benefited from her embrace,

We invite friends and students of David and Marty to share any remembrances or thoughts about her and her life. (Send communications to Ryan Poe for posting on this website.)

The family has asked that any contributions in her memory be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center or to Doctors without Borders.

Shel Stromquist & Cecelia Bucki