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Carmen J. Montague
June 1, 1939 ~ November 19, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old
1 Tree, Flower, or Condolence has been shared with support of Carmen's family - View on Tribute Wall
Mrs. Carmen Montague was born Carmen Taylor on June 1st, 1939, 10:40pm at Alameda County Hospital, now known as Highland Hospital. Born to parents Rosa and Wakefield Taylor. She was raised in West Oakland. She was the last and youngest of her family that consisted of her brothers Wakefield Jr., Robert, and her beloved sister Marilyn. Carmen attended Prescott Elementary School, and McClymonds High School
Carmen met her future husband Wallace at a USO dance. He was a sailor in the US Navy from New York City. After a lengthy courtship, and the rejection of 2 marriage proposals, I was told by my mother she finally accepted so he would stop asking. They were married in June of 1961.
This part of the story is a blatant lie so please forgive me; my mother appears to have given birth to my oldest sister Marilyn in the year 2000 there I said it. We are going to leave it at that otherwise this would be double memorial service. My mother give birth to a second daughter Muriel also sometime in the 2000’s. We are going to try not to do the math on that one. My mother lived through some of the most tumultuous times in history as a Navy wife in the late 50’s and 1960’s as a navy wife she waited, worried, and wondered about her husband as he served in two wars; The Korean War and The Vietnam War while she was holding it down on the home front. Carmen became the ultimate Navy Housewife. My mother shared with me that the manner how she kept her dwelling in Navy Housing had a direct impact on her husband’s service record. My mother was very proud that she kept a very clean house, always scoring the highest inspection scores regularly. Keeping a house clean and functional with two children is a daunting task.
By this time, Carmen, and her sister Marilyn each named their first-born daughters after each other.
The 1970’s brought the final two additions to our family. On Christmas Day 1970 Carmen gave birth to a set of twins, Marcus, and Michael. In 1972, Carmen became a widow and Gold Star mom, as we became a Gold Star family after her husband Wallace dies on duty while serving abord the aircraft carrier USS Hancock. Two months after celebrating his 20th year of military service. Mrs. Montague proudly wears her Gold Star pin signifying her loss and sacrifice for this nation as she lies in state.
The 70’s ushered in a new era of Carmen’s life as she became…A school mom. By 1976 all her children were students in the Oakland Unified School District. We are coming out of the Civil Rights movement and Education is once again front and center of a message of elevation and liberation. Carmen became a vested active stakeholder in her children’s education. As a volunteer at Martin Luther Ling Jr. Elementary School. Carmen was a ubiquitous presence all over the school, helping and assisting teachers and students whenever and wherever needed. During this time, she was reunited with Mrs. Madison, Marilyn’s primary school teacher who was now a school administrator and part of the newly opened school’s leadership team. After catching the attention of the school’s principal, Mrs. Minnie B. West, Carmen was offered a job as Classroom Instructional Assistant. Carmen was assigned to her son Marcus’ classroom B-7.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s Carmen saw her children through their respective school careers. And ushered in the beginning of work careers for each of children. Mrs. Montague produced four college graduates. Mrs. Montague proudly raised 4 law abiding tax paying citizen who have never been federally indicted…ahem.
In 2004 Mrs. Montague moved to Alameda where she spent her time cooking and gardening and being of service to children whenever there was a need for a ride, an errand or bringing her babies their lunch at work. Mama Montague was always there for her children without question, without fail.
In 2014 at the age of 74 with her children at her side Carmen was diagnosed with Dementia. She faced the future bravely and boldly as her oldest son and daughter became her primary caretakers. Both daughters would become her fiduciaries. After long battle with Dementia on a sunny Sunday afternoon November 19, 2023, Carmen died peacefully in the arms of 2 her children Marcus and Marilyn.