Shirlie Alice Montgomery • June 9, 1918 – Nov 5, 2012

Shirlie always had her camera handy.
Shirlie Alice Montgomery was born on Chapman Street in San Jose on June 9, 1918. She was an only child. To her friends and neighbors she was a treasure trove of history. Shirlie remembered it all. She remembered the Great Depression as a child, the Second World War as a young woman, and eventually the transformation of the Santa Clara Valley from a moderately sized agricultural town to the hustle and bustle of modern Silicon Valley. The majority of her memories were supported by the thousands of photographs in her collection.
Young Shirlie Montgomery

Shirlie a few years ago from an article in the Rose Garden Resident.

She was the grandniece of San Jose’s forefather T.S. Montgomery. Shirlie lived a colorful life but professionally she photographed it with a 4X5 Speed Graphic in B&W. She was a celebrated photographer that shot Hollywood stars, U.S. Presidents and pro wrestlers. Although Shirlie did work for the S. F. Examiner and the San Jose Mercury her works remain some of the best representations of pro wrestling from the 40’s thru the 60’s. When asked about her penchant for shooting professional wrestlers she would answer “I always liked the big boys”. Such stories Shirlie had! She passed away quietly on November 5, 2012. She will never be forgotten. God rest her soul.

Obituary written by Shirlie's good friend and neighbor Joe Holt

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Shirlie Remembered

Remembrances of Shirlie from her Friends (from the Legacy site Guest Book):

November 16, 2012
Shirlie was a Great photographer and she touched a lot of people with her photography! Shirlie was the 1st woman photographer in the early years of the wrestling world. She was a good friend of the Glen D. Neece family in San Jose. Shirlie thank you for all your beautiful photographs! We miss YOU!
Shirley Neece, Antioch, California

November 17, 2012
Shirlie was the matriarch of our street, every evening sitting on her front porch imbibing in a cocktail or two, conversing with anyone that struck her fancy. She was a San Jose treasure. The stories she could tell! She will be missed.
Joe, California

November 18, 2012
Shirlie was a friend of mine. It started out in 1960 when my mother, a news reporter, had Shirlie do a formal portrait in her studio of me. Shirlie was a powerful woman when women had to be powerful to succeed at any work career. I sure miss talking with you Shirlie.
Kirk McClelland, San Jose, California

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please tell us your thoughts about Shirlie, share stories about Shirlie, send photos for us to post.