Elda Fay (Utterback) Montgomery peacefully left her earthly body on the morning of Nov. 10, 2020.
She was born to Leo Utterback and Nellie McCallister Utterback in Clayton, West Virginia, on Nov. 28, 1934. One of four children, her family lived in many West Virginia locations before settling in the small lumber town of Rainelle, West Virginia. She was proud of her West Virginia roots and spent much time there visiting family and friends.
Elda graduated from Rainelle High School in Rainelle, West Virginia, in 1953. She then graduated in 1957 from Glenville State College in Glenville, West Virginia, with a degree in education. She would eventually end up with a master’s degree in education from West Virginia University.
From Glenville College, Elda set off for a lifetime of adventures teaching children in many different locations. First, came Oberlin, Ohio. Next, she worked for the Defense Department on Midway Island, teaching children of naval personnel stationed there. After Midway, she settled in Honolulu, teaching the children of the workers in the sugar cane industry. It was in Honolulu where she met her ex-husband, Cassel Montgomery, and they decided to settle on the mainland.
That brought her to Livermore, where she started her career as a teacher for the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District.
Elda taught fifth grade at Jackson Avenue Elementary and English and social studies at East Avenue Middle School. She had a way of reaching and inspiring her students and created lifetime relationships with many of them. She retired in 1999 after 43 years as an educator.
She wasn’t just about education; she was about travel! Whether she was traveling back to West Virginia to see friends and family, trekking to the Holy Land, or to countless other exotic locations, she was always up for an adventure.
Elda is predeceased by her parents, Leo and Nellie Utterback; sister, Alva Utterback Kinard; and brother, Gene Jones. Elda is survived by her son, Barry Montgomery; daughter-in-law, Leslie Montgomery; and her two grandsons, Grant and Garret Montgomery, who she dearly loved. She also leaves behind her sister, Evelyn Drake of Gallatin, Tennessee; many cousins, and countless friends that meant the world to her. A huge thank you to her neighbor, Evelynne Schwartz, for helping her stay at home as long as possible.
One can only hope to live half of the exciting life that Elda lived and she didn’t take life for granted. Until we meet again, Mom! A Celebration of Life will be held in the near future.