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

Friday, August 28, 2015

Shirlie Montgomery, Book Reviews


Young Shirlie Montgomery was an avid reader. Throughout her life she read and saved books. Upon her passing, she left behind hundreds of books ... novels, art books, coffee table tomes, cookbooks, biographies ... She wanted these to go to a good home or cause, so we donated over 40 boxes of books to the Friends of Los Gatos Library and the local Tate School in her name.

What was cool about her collection was that she still had many of the books she read as a girl. She would write essays and submit them to the San Jose newspaper in a contest. She won so many awards in the contest ... the prizes were books ... that they asked her to be a part of judging the essays and reviewing books. I'll post some of her essays and poems later, but here I have a couple of her book reviews. (These are the only ones still around.) These are from the early 1930s, when Shirlie was in her mid-teens.



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