ST. GEORGE — Reginald Dwight Montgomery passed away at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Dec. 22, 2021, after contracting COVID-19. Reggie was born in Rockland, Oct. 10, 1957, the son of Maynard Austin Montgomery and Lucinda Polky Montgomery.
Reggie grew up in St. George, attending local schools and graduating from Georges Valley High School in 1975. Reggie was actually a member of the class of 1976, but worked hard to get the extra credits needed to graduate early so he could enter the work force.
Reggie was always a hard worker beginning with a paper route as a pre-teen, and then working for Art Henry at Henry’s Crane Service while in high school. After graduation, Reggie ran a garage for a short time in Thomaston before answering the call to drive trucks. Reggie worked for R.C. Moore in Waldoboro before purchasing his own truck and becoming an independent trucker, something he did in one fashion or another the rest of his life.
In 1983 Reggie married Lorraine Rosado and lived with her and her children in Waldoboro. Although not legally adopted, Lorraine’s young son Eric took the Montgomery name. The marriage did not last, but their friendship endured forever. As recently as November 2021, the two spent an enjoyable evening together, going out to eat in Augusta and reminiscing.
After the divorce, Reggie moved back to St. George, putting a home on a piece of land on the Snow’s Point Road that had been handed down through the family for many generations. This is where he put down roots and remained the rest of his life.
After returning home, Reggie started working with local lady, Vivian Leppanen, who, along with her husband, Alfred, had run a trash collection service for many years. After Alfred passed away, Reggie helped Vivian with the route, eventually buying the business and establishing “Reggie’s Rubbish Removal,” a business that he would continue for over 25 years. When that business became too much for Reggie alone to handle, he gave it up and went on to start a delivery business that he called “I deliver”. He bought a cargo van and delivered artwork, antiques or anything else someone may need shipped, traveling all over the United States doing his deliveries. Reggie was still actively running his business when he developed COVID-19.
Reggie was very interested in local history and genealogy, especially his Finnish heritage. These two interests came together to hugely impact his life on Dec. 18, 2015, when a young man in Finland, who was researching his own family history, sent a message to the Finnish Heritage house and it was Reggie who received the message and replied.
Alex Antilla traced his family that had left Finland and migrated to the United States. Using U.S. census, he located Antilla family members as Anderson’s in Knox County. He then reached out to the Finnish Heritage House and that is how he and Reggie connected. Alex came to America in summer 2016. Reggie met him at Logan airport. Alex recalls how Reg had brought a cooler with A&W root beer and peanut butter cups, knowing that Alex liked them. Reggie eagerly helped Alex find his U.S. relatives, some as far away as Virginia. Alex made three trips to the U.S. and Reggie took him traveling all over the country. They became best of friends and enjoyed each other’s company. Reggie even took him to New York’s Time Square to watch the ball drop on New Year’s 2017. While in the city, they were stopped at a traffic light when Alex noticed a father and son sitting on a bench talking in Finnish. The lights in New York are long so Alex was able to engage them in conversation. What is the chance of that?
Reggie also traveled to Finland on three separate occasions. His first trip was with a tour group in July 2016, then in August 2017 for a Polkki family reunion. Several members of his American Polky family traveled with him and they met a lot of Finnish relatives. On this trip he also visited Sweden. Reggie’s last trip to Finland was in May 2018 when he went to attend Alex’s graduation from nursing school. He had booked a trip for the summer of 2020 when he was going to be the best man at Alex’s wedding, but the pandemic made the trip impossible. Unfortunately, Reggie never had the chance to meet Alex and wife Mimosa’s baby girl, but he had plenty of photos that Alex sent him, and was looking forward to returning to Finland soon.
Reggie’s interest in history and genealogy led him to be involved in many community organizations, including the St. George Alumni Association, The Gilchrest family reunion group, The Andrew Robinson House, all in St. George, and the Finnish Heritage House in South Thomaston.
Reggie loved to dance, and for many years he could be found every Saturday night at Crystal Falls with friend Mary Guptill. They made quite the pair and were a sight to see on the dance floor, but as Mary’s health declined as she fought a courageous battle with cancer, and the restrictions of COVID-19, the outings ended, and sadly, Mary passed away this past year.
Reggie is predeceased by his mother; brother’s, Randy and Raymond Montgomery; stepsons, Arthur Woods and Eric Montgomery; and brother-in-law, Glenn Hall. He is survived by his father, Maynard, and his fiancé, Gerry Hutcheson, of Rockport; brother’s, Russell Montgomery of St. George and Dana Montgomery (Wendy) of Minnesota; sister’s, Cindy Hall of Tenants Harbor and Lynn Johnson of North Dakota; one aunt, Rosalie Matson of Cushing; several uncles; as well as nieces and nephews.
Friends and relatives are invited to visit from 5-7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.
A Celebration of Reggie’s life will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 4, at First Baptist Church of St. George, at Wileys Corner.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Finnish Heritage House, P.O. Box 293, South Thomaston, ME 04858. For those unable to attend in person, a live-stream of Reggie’s service will be available on his book of memories at www.bchfh.com. Follow the link under “Photos & Videos” Tab then “Watch Webcast.”