April 21, 1925 ~ January 6, 2023

Born in: Battle Creek, MI
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Dr. Wayne Swope Montgomery, age 97, of Asheville, died on January 6, 2023 at Brooks-Howell.

Wayne is preceded by his wife, Elizabeth Campbell Jeschke Montgomery, his daughter Mary Montgomery, and granddaughter Page Whetsell. He is survived by sons Wayne Swope Montgomery, Jr. (Candace Fouts) and Woodard Page Montgomery (Joyce), and daughters Ann Montgomery Sims (Wilson) and Jane Montgomery Whetsell (Paul), and 14 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Dr. Montgomery was born on April 21, 1925 to the late Frank and Mildred Montgomery in Battle Creek , Michigan. He attended public schools in Madison, Indiana. He graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana with help of the Rector Scholarship. Wayne was a member of Phi Kapa Psi fraternity- and it was at DePauw where he caught the eye of Betsy Campbell Jeschke. In high school and college he participated in varsity basketball and baseball. While in high school, he was offered a baseball contract with the Boston Red Sox from Herb Pennock, farm supervisor for the Red Sox.

Wayne graduated from Wayne University medical school in 1950 in Detroit, Michigan, where he was a member of Phi Rho Sigma. Following both an internship and a year as assistant surgical resident at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Wayne accepted a three-year fellowship in orthopedic surgery at Campbell Clinic, Memphis, Tennessee. In 1955, he accepted Dr. Walter Watt’s offer to join his practice which became Blue Ridge Bone & Joint Clinic, where he continued seeing patients through 1993.

Wayne was commissioned Lieutenant in the US Navy serving during World War II and the Korean War, where he was a Naval physician. Duty stations included Naval Hospital, Memphis; Naval Hospital, Camp LeJeune; Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan; Commander Service Squadron 3, Sea of Japan; and the Naval Dispensary, Sasebo, Japan.

Wayne coached Little League baseball for six years, serving as president of the league 1961-1962. He served as on-site orthopedist for the Atlanta Falcons in their first summer camp in Asheville in 1965. Betsy and Wayne swam Monday through Friday in their indoor pool at home, with Wayne usually swimming one-half mile and Betsy swimming one-mile.

Entering the political arena, Wayne was chair of the Buncombe County Republican Party from 1965-1969. In 1969 he was elected Mayor of the city of Asheville, serving until 1971. Then from 1984 to 1988 he served as a Buncombe County Commissioner.

From 1973 to 1985 Wayne served on the Davidson College Board of Trustees, and from 1973 to 1976 on the North Carolina Department of Transportation Board. Service on other boards include American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Buncombe County Board of Health and the Black Mountain Home for Children. Wayne served as president of the Boards of UNCA Foundation, Mountain Amateur Athletics, Asheville Kiwanis Club, Land of Sky Touchdown Club, Western North Carolina Tennis Association, Knights of the Laurel in the Rhododendron Royal Brigade of Guards. Wayne and Betsy were member of First Presbyterian Church, Asheville, NC for many years.

Wayne was a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, Vice-President of the North Carolina Orthopedic Association, President of the Buncombe County Medical Society, Chief of Surgery of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Member of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy, President of the Willis Campbell Orthopedic Club, and organized medical aspects of sports clinics for coaches and trainers.

From 1981 through 2003 Wayne played third clarinet in the Asheville Community Band. During this time, he participated in City of Asheville tennis tournaments and numerous doubles tennis tournaments around the Southeast.

A celebration of his life will be held starting at 10:00 AM on Saturday, April 22, 2023 in the Chapel of Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian. His family will greet friends at the funeral home immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Black Mountain Home for Children, 80 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC 28711, or to Brooks Howell Home, 266 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, NC 28801.

Groce Funeral Home’s Lake Julian team is assisting the family.

The Montgomery family wishes to thank the Staff at Brooks Howell for its extraordinary care.

Services

Celebration of Life: April 22, 2023 10:00 am

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704

(828)687-3530
http://www.grocefuneralhome.com

Room: Chapel

Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704

(828)687-3530
http://www.grocefuneralhome.com

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Guestbook

  1. To all the Dr.Wayne Montgomery family and friends: having grown up in Asheville I can tell you that Dr.Montgomery was one of Asheville’s finest! Whatever he attempted, he achieved. When I was a young boy he took a young boy named Jimmy Rossi and myself under his wing and taught us so much. So much fun watching him teach his children and the rest of us great values of life. Look forward to catching up with you in Heaven. God bless all of your family. Bill and Mary Dot Waddell

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  2. John and I extend our deepest sympathies to all of you. Dr Montgomery was an extraordinary man. He always had a smile when we saw him at Brooks Howell. May your memories sustain you and may he rest in peace.

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  3. I was saddened to learn of Wayne Montgomery’s death. My family’s hearts go out to all of Wayne Montgomery’s family in their loss He was outstanding in all of the organizations to which he belonged and a model physician for all of us who had the pleasure of working with him in our medical practices. Our community has lost an amazingly competent, wise, caring, and compassionate individual who set a standard of excellence in medical practice and community service for all of us who knew him. He will be missed.

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  4. Dr. Montgomery was a unique, selfless person who gave so much to the community, his family, and his patients. Our paths crossed a number of time during my career at Square D, and I always looked up to him as a role model as I admired his contributions to society through his community involvement. He always had time to chat and he truly made one feel special. My condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.

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  5. I loved working with Dr. Montgomery. Always kind, caring and calm. He was a real gentleman. My sympathy to his family.

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  6. Dear Ann and Jane, please accept my deepest condolences in the loss of your father. I vividly remember him as a very caring and inspirational partner to your mother as our Swim Team coach. He once examined a cut to my foot from my accidentally stepping on broken glass around a swim meet venue. It was not serious but the memory of his gentle kindness has stuck with me over the 55 years since it happened. My heart and prayers go out to you, your brothers, and all your family in the deep family losses you have endured in recent years. Your family made a huge positive impact upon me and I actually think of you often and wonder how you are. If you wish, I can be reached at lbarnhardt@gmail.com. Love and blessings, Lee Barnhardt

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  7. Dr Montgomery was my Dr for many years. I have CP and he first saw me and diagnosed me at the original Asheville orthopedic hospital
    Between him and Dr Nathan Burkhardt they helped me understand my disorder. He was a sweet and understanding man.

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  8. My regards to the family at this very difficult time. My dad, Ralph D Morris Jr, was close to your dad and Mary. I’m the retired store manager for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers in High Point and at varying times waited on Swope’s children at both our locations in Winston-Salem and High Point. I also photograhed Mary on her return from the olympics for the Asheville High School annual in 1972.

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  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. Dr Montgomery was my doctor along with Dr Burkhart when I was growing up. I also had the privilege of working with him at St Joseph when I became a nurse. He was a very kind and caring physician, and his patients loved him as did we. You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the coming days.

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  10. Dr. Montgomery was an important person in the our family’s lifetime. My sister, Barb Knight, has cerebral palsy and was a patient of Dr. Montgomery’s for many years. I can recall my mother, Betty Knight, being so grateful for the wonderful care Barb received from him. It was always a happy day when Barb had and appointment with Dr. Montgomery because she too loved him. In addition, my husband and I went to school with the Montgomery children and remember them fondly. Our hearts are with you during this sad time.

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  11. Dr. Montgomery was a wonderful employer. It was “fun” to go to work, always kind and compassionate to employees and patients. Our daughter still remembers going to his home for a office picnic and getting to swim in his “indoor” swimming pool and I still have a letter he wrote to our son from “Santa Clause”. He always took care of his patients first and being Mayor was first, He got both jobs done with love.

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  12. My first job was at Asheville Bone and Joint and I was there for 8 years. Dr. Montgomery was a wonderful and caring Physician to his patients and to his staff. I could not have had a better first job experience and it was due to the wonderful physicians and coworkers I worked with there. Before I left, I was his secretary and he was so easy to work for, always kind and patient! My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

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  13. One of our heroes for life! From two teenagers, one from West Asheville and the other from the West End of Asheville. There will never be enough thank yous for all of the things you did to prepare us for life. We will never forget.

    Jim and Jean Rossi

    Reply
  14. We are sad to learn of Dr. Montgomery’s death. All of us at Givens remember Dr. and Mrs. Montgomery with great affection. Blessings to their wonderful family. You are all in our prayers!

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  15. So sorry for your loss. What a wonderful man, I was blessed to have known him while growing up with his children. He was a role model and inspiration to me in raising my family.

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  16. I remember Wayne from the Asheville Community Band. He was a fine musician and a good friend to the band. One of my favorite memories was the time he and Betsy opened their home to us for the band’s Christmas party. I shall miss him.

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  17. It was my honor to work with Dr. Montgomery for a few short years . He was an excellent surgeon and a gentleman in every sense of the word. May God give you His grace and strength and peace.

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  18. Swope, we are sorry for your loss. Your dad was a wonderful neighbor of ours at Givens. We have missed him since he moved to Brooks-Howell; we know you will miss him greatly now.

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  19. It is with great sadness to learn about Wayne,s passing. He was a wonderful person and gentlemen, and he will be missed by everyone, who knew him.
    Jim and Thea Weilbaecher

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  20. Dr. Montgomery is my hero. As someone with polio at age 4, I wore a brace on my left leg until 1958 at age 12 when he performed three surgeries which has allowed me to walk without a brace for 64 years. Because of his brilliance, he also determined how much I would grow and did surgery on my good leg so that now both legs are the same length rather than 2 1/2 inch difference. Again, Dr. Montgomery is my hero. God bless you all.

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  21. My Ellis family adored all your family and I have wonderful memories of Dr. Montgomery from Little League, swimming, and hanging out at your house. Swope, Woody, Ann, Jane – my heart goes out to you and your families.

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  22. Thank you for being my Dr. from 9 yrs old til 1985. You saved my leg when I was just a kid. I will never forget you. You were the best then and until the end. We have lost an awesome doctor.

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  23. To Ann and Dr. Montgomery’s family-
    Wayne was a devoted physician, public servant and a true gentleman who loved his family and fellow man. He was one of last of his breed and will be missed.

    Reply

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