His passion was speech, and for 27 years he dedicated his life to helping his students become successful through his speech and debate classes. Lodi High School lost one if its own Tuesday evening when Thomas Montgomery, 53, of Stockton, died suddenly of a heart attack.
Montgomery settled in Ripon with his family while he was in junior high. He attended schools there and then received a speech scholarship to the University of the Pacific. He double majored in communications and history and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree.