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, December 2, 2016

University of Santa Clara ROTC 1937-38

Shirlie had this awesome scrapbook of photos she rescued from the San Jose News morgue ... all of college kids and sports from 1937-1938. These photos are about the Reserve Officer's Training Corp at SCU. Back then, right up through the 1970s or so, ROTC was required for all frosh and sophomore men. (Of course "men" as SCU was a men's only college back then.) 

I remember the Wednesday march in review events very well from my days at SCU (Class of 1966). The old woolen uniforms. The spit polished shoes. The bright, shiny brass buttons. The classes in military history, tactics and strategies, rules and regulations. We even had to carry rifles (NOT "guns") but they were disabled. ROTC is a thing of the past for most Bay Area colleges and high schools ... not politically correct. Too bad.

This photo album was donated to the SCU Library Archives by Shirlie quite a few years ago.