A native Texan, Clemon Lee Montgomery passed away of natural causes on Nov. 15, 2012 in Fredericksburg, Texas, his home of over 20 years. His funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at the Fredericksburg Funeral Home at 2278 South Highway 87 in Fredericksburg.
Montgomery was born in Sweetwater, Texas in 1927 and decided early in his life that the improvement of the plight of the farmer and rancher was one to which an entire life, education and career could be devoted. After service to his country in the US Navy from 1944 to 1947, Montgomery obtained a B.S. in 1950 as well as a Masters Degree in Education in 1958 at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, with combined graduate studies at Texas Tech University.
Montgomery’s agricultural career began by serving as instructor for the Veteran’s On-the-Farm Training Program in Sweetwater, Texas, a vital post-WWII serviceman’s readjustment program. He was one of three teachers at the Lamesa High School Vo-Ag Department where their responsibilities included the development and operation of educational programs for over 150 students. While at Lamesa, the FFA chapter won many state and national awards, and it gave credit to the excellent students Montgomery led at Lamesa High School. In 1955, he became Area Supervisor of Vocational Agriculture in the vast West Texas region until 1961, when he was appointed as the Texas Department of Education’s State Future Farmers of America (FFA) Executive Secretary.
After a four-year interlude in private industry with Tenneco Chemicals, Montgomery returned to state of Texas employment with the Texas Department of Agriculture as one of three TDA administrators who planned and directed enforcement and service work on county levels. Reorganizations within the TDA resulted in him being appointed to the position of State Administrator. The change resulted in greater efficiency and economy within the department and he retained these duties when he became Chief Deputy to the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture. Major responsibilities for the implementation of all activities including enforcement of 247 laws by TDA employees, overseeing 12 District Supervisors and being a department liaison with the Texas State Legislature and various state agricultural groups.
Following his voluntary retirement from state service in 1982, Montgomery became Associate Vice President of the Texas Federation of Cooperatives, an organization designed to further economic interests of the Texas farm and ranch communities. This included working with state and national legislators on laws and regulations affecting all phases of agriculture. In 1985, he became the Executive Vice President of the Texas Cottonseed Crushers Association. Because of his leadership, an active research program developed to explore new and expanded cottonseed products for domestic and import markets. The over 100-year old association has a long history of supporting agricultural education in local schools and universities.
Clemon L. Montgomery has earned his fair share of achievements and awards in his lengthy and distinguished multi-decade career devoted to agriculture and has served on numerous boards in presidential or directorship capacities with many organizations. Just a few are Texas Professional Ag Workers Association, Texas FFA Alumni Association, Texas FFA Foundation Board of Directors, Texas Agricultural Council, Texas Agricultural Forum and as a past State Officers Association Advisor.
He has served as a member of organizations such as the Dean’s Advisory Council for Agricultural Sciences at Texas Tech University, The Texas Advisory Council for the Food and Fiber Commission, Texas Education Agency, State Fair Rural Youth Committee and as the Superintendent of the Beef Cattle Show with the Houston Livestock Show. Life Memberships include National FFA Alumni Association, FFA Alumni Association, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association and Texas Tech Agriculture Education Alumni Association.
His ties to his alma mater, Sam Houston State University, have been extensive and he has been a member of the Alumni Association since graduating and has donated a great deal of time and effort on behalf of SHSU. In 2000, he was bestowed the prestigious award of Outstanding SHSU Alumni. Other awards include Outstanding Achievements in Agriculture presented by the Texas Senate and House of Representatives, Honorary Lone Star Farmer Degree, the US Department of Agriculture’s Outstanding Service to Texas Agriculture and the first ever honored with the FFA Hall of Fame Award.
In continued support of education in the field of agriculture, he has established endowments to San Houston State University, Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University. Montgomery has retired from Agricultural Workers Mutual Automobile Insurance Company where he served as their Chairman of the Board for 15 years and as a Director for 24 years.
Throughout his life Montgomery enjoyed playing golf and traveling extensively across the country.
Clemon L. Montgomery is survived by his wife of 42 years, Carolyn E. Montgomery in Fredericksburg, Texas. They have five sons, Lee Montgomery and wife Susan of Muldrow, OK, Murl Montgomery and wife LaVynda of Sweetwater, Rod Morgan and wife Vicki of Round Rock, Larry Morgan and wife Mary of Georgetown and Lance Morgan of Austin, 10 grandchildren: Jeremy, Derek, Amber, Marti and Grant Montgomery, Lauren Gilstrap, Paige Morgan, Barrett Morgan, Clara Putnam and Clint Morgan; 11 great-grandchildren; a brother and two sisters: Calvin Montgomery and wife Zelma of Enchanted Oaks, Franzas Cup of Sweetwater and Lillian Greenfield of Big Spring, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a grandchild, Emily Montgomery.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions to the Future Farmers of America Foundation, Hill Country Memorial Hospice, Hill Country Memorial Hospital Foundation, or the charity of one’s choice.