MONTGOMERY, George Merlin
died in Tucson on November 7, 2020 at the age of 92. George--Merlin to his parents, brother, and childhood friends-- was born in north-central Texas on January 8, 1928, where he lived on a ranch until his early teens. Later in life, he fondly remembered riding horses during those years.
In 1942, he moved with his family to Yuma. There, as a teenager, he enjoyed building radios and driving a Model A through the desert with his brother. In 1944, George graduated from Yuma High School as salutatorian, entering the University of Arizona at age 16. At the University he joined ROTC, majored in electrical engineering, and graduated in 1948 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. During his time in Tucson, his ROTC unit helped to construct the first ski run on Mt. Lemon. After graduation, he went to work for General Electric but soon decided in favor of a military career. Beginning in the Armored Cavalry, he quickly transferred to the Ordinance Corps. It was while serving a tour of duty at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland that he met Carmen Angela DeLand who became his wife. The two were married in 1950 and soon began a family, eventually raising five children, all of whom are also University of Arizona graduates. As an Army officer, George enjoyed a rich and varied military career, whose highlights included working with Wernher von Braun--a U.S. space flight pioneer--in the 1950s, teaching courses at West Point, and serving overseas in both Germany and Korea. (Along the way he earned engineering master's degrees from Purdue and Columbia.) Teaching was something he especially enjoyed during his military career, and, along with everything he did, it was something he excelled at.
On retirement from the Army at the rank of Colonel, he and Carmen moved to Tucson where, for a time, he worked for engineering companies. Both before and after retirement, he often found time to pursue his passions for vegetable gardening and amateur astronomy. In retirement, he wrote a computer program that could identify the stars in the night sky--at any latitude and longitude and on any night of the year. He also helped Carmen in her efforts to document family history.
His children will always remember his dry humor, frequent singing and unassuming manner. He is survived by his brother, Lewis and his children, Richard, Lynne, Gary, Barbara and David, as well as by grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A memorial service for family members was held at East Lawn Palms Cemetery on November 17, 2020. Arrangements by EAST LAWN PALMS MORTUARY.
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