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Raymond A. Montgomery III

04/17/2008
Ramsey Montgomery (Raymond A. Montgomery III) died suddenly on March 4, 2008, in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, of a suspected brain aneurysm. All of his friends and family are saddened by his loss. He is survived by his father and stepmother, Raymond Montgomery and Shannon Gilligan-Montgomery of Warren, VT; his mother, Constance Cappel of Tivoli, NY; and by his brother, Anson, and Anson's wife and children, Rebecca, Avery and Lila Montgomery of Warren.

Ramsey was born May 1, 1967, in Burlington, Vermont. Growing up in the Mad River Valley, he attended the Waitsfield Elementary School, Green Mountain Valley School, and the University of Vermont. He also spent time studying and learning in Oxford, England, Boulder, CO, and Cody, WY. After spending time in ski towns out west and working in a variety of jobs, but mainly as a painter, Ramsey became a software producer in Santa Fe, NM, and San Francisco, CA, and managed many successful entertainment and e-learning projects.

Ramsey loved ski racing, the mountains, reading, adventuring, different cultures and his friends and family. He loved to spend time hiking and exploring with his nieces, Lila and Avery Montgomery.

Asia exerted a strong pull on Ramsey while he lived out west, and he spent much of his vacation time in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Burma. In 2003 he moved to Asia and spent two months in a Buddhist forest monastery in northern Thailand. After that experience, Ramsey took a position in Saigon as the producer at a computer graphics company before finding what he considered his true calling: teaching. Ramsey spent the last three years teaching English as a second language to grade-schoolers (his favorite age group), teenagers (his least favorite), and adults. He loved his work and felt it was a true contribution to humanity.

The lure of adventure continued strong in him, and Cambodia seemed to call to him. Recently he had traveled by dugout canoe up the Mekong, and the Irrawaddi, to Phnom Penh, and Angkor Wat. He spoke Vietnamese, some Thai, and found Cambodian much to his liking. His knowledge of Southeast Asian history and politics was formidable.

Wherever Ramsey went, he made wonderful and fascinating friends. Although he only lived in Saigon for three years, he had an amazing community close to him. Many people extended help to his family in the wake of his death in many ways, and over 60 friends came to a memorial brunch and funeral service at the Ang Quang Pagoda. As a Theravadan Buddhist, Ramsey was cremated in accordance with his beliefs. His service in Vietnam was beautiful, with a chanting monk, burning incense, and a hearse with golden dragons and lucky money streaming off of it.

Early in his Asian sojourn, Ramsey aided and abetted his friend Tom Stader in founding a nonprofit NGO dedicated to creating small libraries in poor rural schools and orphanages throughout Vietnam and China. Please make any donations in Ramsey's name to a memorial library fund Tom created in Ramsey's honor at http://www.library-project.org/ramsey_montgomery.html.
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