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Andrew "Jimmy" James Montgomery, Sr.

February 6, 1940 ~ December 20, 2021 (age 81)

Obituary

Andrew James “Jimmy” Montgomery Sr., the son of the late Marvin and Lillie Bell Montgomery, was born in Holly Hill, SC on February 06, 1940 and entered into eternal rest December 20, 2021. He grew up in Holly Hill and attended the public schools of Rosenwald and Roberts High School.

At an early age, he became a member of Bethel A.M.E Church of Holly Hill and served on the Junior Choir, Church Sunday School, YPD, ACE League, and worked as a sexton in the church.

During his youth, he labored on the family farm which consisted of hauling wood and planting crop. “Jimmy” as he was called was employed at his uncle’s dry cleaners. In his early teens he worked as a migrant worker which included travels to North Carolina. In 1955 he traveled to New Jersey to work on a vegetable farm and his last year of school he drove school bus and worked temporarily (1 day) at the local drug store. Jimmy later completed his studies and graduated with a high school diploma from Roberts High School in 1958.

After graduation, he traveled to Brooklyn, New York and worked five months in a toy factory. He was laid off and returned back to Holly Hill, SC.

After, a short stay he traveled to Florida in January of 1959, where he worked for four months in a restaurant. In the fifth month of his employment, he learned that his father had an accident with his vehicle. He then joined his oldest sister to help with purchasing new vehicle for his father. He drove the vehicle home from Florida to deliver it to his father. After a week, Jimmy then caught the Grey Hound bus to Hartford, Connecticut where he stayed with friends of the family. After a short stay, he was taken to Norwich where he stayed in a home that housed children who were wards of the state. He stayed two weeks and then moved into a motel where he stayed three nights. Jimmy then met up with a family from South Carolina who took him into their home and treated him like a member of their family. He found employment at Yantic Grain and Product Company of where he worked in the grocery warehouse, elevating from being a truck helper to tractor trailer driver at the age of twenty-one. He was employed at Yantic Grain Company for two and half months when he returned back to SC and married his high school sweetheart on July 31, 1959. The ceremony was performed by the late presiding elder, Reverend Bonnie Grey, grandfather of the bride. The both of them returned to Norwich, CT where they started their family. He discontinued his employment at Yantic Grain and Product Company after four years and then moved on to Thames Valley Transit Bus Company and became the first African American Bus Driver in Norwich, CT. As a part of his duties he drove charter and city buses. He remained employed there four years, and then relocated to New Haven, CT and began driving as a city bus driver for The Connecticut Bus Company.

After two years with the company, he sought other employment and was hired by M&M Trucking Co. Jimmy worked part-time two days a week on his days off from the bus company. He eventually became employed by St. Johnsbury and became a full-time Teamster Union Truck driver, making more money driving truck in five days then what he would make driving truck and bus in seven days. Before retiring in 2002, he worked for a short stint for ABF Trucking. Jimmy weathered the trucking industry for thirty years as a local and interstate truck driver facing the perils of inclement weather conditions and dangerous terrains.

One of his fondest highlight of his trucking career was during the Fall of 1989 when the tragic Hugo Hurricane devastated the South East coast, specifically South Carolina. Jimmy was instrumental in coordinating efforts in ascertaining a tractor and trailer to transport aide to needy South Carolinians. The effort was made possible in conjunction with donations from multiple AME churches, individuals and businesses in New England. All items were transported free by the company and the drivers to Sumter, SC.

Jimmy and Hazel settled in New Haven and raised their four children with discipline and Christian values. The family attended Bethel AME Church of New Haven. As a strong disciplinarian, Jimmy spared no means to teach the values and lessons of life to his children and grandchildren. He was firm in his belief that a man should live by the sweat of his brow, that you should always give a days’ work for a days’ pay and to always in everything you do, put God first.

Post retirement and his move back to South Carolina, Jimmy’s singing talent and passion for music led him to Holly Hill United Methodist Church. In 2003, he was recruited to sing with the choir. Through his 16 years affiliation with the church, he has built many friendships over the years. In 2019, Jimmy was instrumental by way of a church member, to channel an organ to Bethel AME Church of Holly Hill. He will always maintained his support and membership at Bethel AME Church of Holly Hill. Jimmy was a member of the Fraternal Order of the Elks Lodge for over forty years. He enjoyed working with meals on wheels, being a voice of change at school board and concern citizen meetings, organizing and participating in activities with his Roberts High classmates, and spending time with family.

He is survived, missed and eternally loved by his beloved wife, Hazel B. Montgomery; his four children: Andrew J. (Jaqueline) Montgomery Jr., of Eutawville, SC; Gregory A. (Pamela) Montgomery of Hamden, CT; Michele Y. (Paul) Barnaby of New Haven, CT; Ekemam A. (Vanessa) Montgomery, of Irmo, SC; siblings: Malcolm L. Montgomery (Deceased), Rachel D. Montgomery (Deceased), Marvin B. (Minnie) Montgomery Jr., of Kansas City, Mo., Mrs. Lillie A. (Charlie) Heyward, Harold E, (Deceased), (Gwendolyn) Montgomery, of Norwich, CT and Dorothy McKune, Holly Hill, SC; 10 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren and a host of loving nieces, nephews, in-laws and other relatives and friends.

 

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Services

Visitation
Thursday
December 23, 2021

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Grace Funeral Services LLC - Holly Hill
8827 Old State Rd
Holly Hill, South Carolina 29059

Graveside Service
Friday
December 24, 2021

2:00 PM
Bethel / Target AME Church Cemetery
Holly Hill
Holly Hill, SC 29059

Please note
The Celebration of Life Services will be live streamed from Grace Funeral Services Facebook Page at 2:00 P.M.
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