Two services today for retired educator

Sandra ClarkObits, West Knoxville

Updated to show picture of statue

Two services are scheduled today (4/18/24) to honor a legendary Catholic educator. Dr. Aurelia Montgomery, 88, of Knoxville, passed away on April 8, 2024.

This statue is dedicated to Catholic High School families: Past, present and future.

A celebration of life will occur from 5-6:30 p.m. at Rose Mortuary, Mann Heritage Chapel, 6200 Kingston Pike, Knoxville. The family invites Dr. Montgomery’s friends, especially former students, to share a favorite memory. A Rosary led by Fr. John Arthur Orr will commence at 6:30 p.m. and conclude the event.

Also, today at 2 p.m. a new Holy Family statue will be dedicated in her honor on the campus of Knoxville Catholic High School. “She knew about it and was expecting to attend,” said Pam Rhoades, director of marketing and communications at KCHS. “Her son and daughter-in-law will be attending.”

A funeral Mass will occur at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 19, at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 711 Northshore Dr. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz will celebrate the funeral Mass, priests of the Diocese of Knoxville will concelebrate and Fr David Boettner will be the homilist. Interment will follow at the Cathedral Columbarium.

Professionally, Dr. Montgomery was a teacher at Knox Catholic High School beginning in 1978. She went on to serve as principal of KCHS, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Knoxville and principal of St. Joseph School before retiring in 2011.

She is survived by son Paul, daughter-in-law Francesca, and grandson Anthony. Her full obituary is here.

Former students made public posts on the KCHS Facebook page:

Aaron Santos, KCHS Class of 2005, said Dr. Montgomery “did so much for me while I attended KCHS. She checked in with me daily, always asked if I had everything I needed and treated me like her own son.”

Julie Bowen Yager, KCHS Class of 1987, called her “an amazing woman and my favorite teacher hands down!”

Becky Welch Harris, KCHS Class of 1988, said she can remember Dr. Montgomery as her teacher even after almost 40 years. “She was a tough teacher but we knew without a doubt she cared and wanted us to be our best! She had a great sense of humor! She was a godly woman with so much grace and humility! I will never forget her.”

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