We Could Always Bank On Jack

by Curt Kovener    

His parents named him Lawrence but we all knew him as Jack.

He was a friend, a community leader and cheerleader, and a confidant. Jack Montgomery was one of those rare people communities don’t realize their impact on it.

A gregarious man, he enjoyed dual citizenship having been raised and schooled in Crothersville, we claimed him; living in Brownstown and for many years being the voice of the Braves announcing at athletic events, the county seat also claimed him.

But his impact was wider than that… much wider.

He was the local bank manager for years and one whom many of us turned to for advice whether financial or otherwise.

His banking influence and local connection to the community helped to make the Crothersville branch of The Peoples Bank the largest in deposits of the institution’s branch locations. He wouldn’t brag about the local branch’s success, but his smile would be as broad as his girth when someone commented on the bank’s annual report.

While he had been retired from the bank for about a year, his experience was still counted on by the bank’s leaders both in Brownstown and Crothersville for consultation and guidance.

Jack was the epitome of community leader. He was president of the Brownstown Central School Board, was an officer on the county fair board, county visitors board, county industrial development board. Actually it might be easier to list the county groups of which he didn’t take an active leadership role.

His involvement and achievement on the plethora of community boards made me wonder just when he had anytime for himself.

But Jack seemed to thrive on being active and seeking to improve the services and condition of those groups on which he served and the communities which they served.

He always looked forward; looking to the future, seeking to be ahead of the curve to make things better. I don’t think I can recall a time I heard him lament on regrets. He learned from the events of the past but didn’t dwell on them. I rarely saw him down and he always was quick with a smile and a laugh. He could good naturedly take a poke in fun, chortle a laugh, and then poke you with a zinger right back. And we would both end up laughing.

The cancer claimed him tragically quick; the cancer claimed him mercifully quick. And his smile and influence and vision will be missed in the communities that claimed him.