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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Former Decatur Mayor Bill Montgomery stands in front of the American flag after taking the oath of office as a Decatur alderman on Jan. 9, 2017. Montgomery passed away at his home in Decatur Aug. 30.

DECATUR -- "Today is a very solemn day for the community of Decatur as we struggle to cope with the loss of William "Bill" Montgomery, who passed away Aug. 30 in his home in Decatur," said Decatur Mayor Bob Tharp, a longtime friend of Montgomery, after he received news of Montgomery's death.

Born in 1955, Montgomery was a part of the foundation of this community his entire life. He leaves behind a legacy that inspires all of us to serve our community and others with pride.

"I think about Bill and his life here in the community," said Tharp. "It occurred to me that we can learn what characteristics it takes to leave a legend that lives on."

Montgomery was dedicated to accomplish any task with hard work and determination. In 1973, while still in high school, Montgomery acquired a job as a teller at Decatur State Bank. After graduating from Decatur High School in 1974, he continued his banking career with Decatur State Bank until 2008.

Over his 35 years of service, Montgomery furthered his education by attending classes with the Arkansas Bankers Association and served on its board of directors throughout the 1980s.

"It is safe to say that Bill believed firmly in striving to make one's self better," Tharp said.

Montgomery's ambition to serve his community spilled over into his decision to become a public servant. He served as an alderman on the Decatur City Council when the opportunity arose for him to step into office during the last two years of the late Jack Wilmoth's term as Decatur mayor. When the term ended, he decided to run for the mayor's position and, in 1994, he won his first term. From 1995 to 2010 Montgomery served as mayor of Decatur.

In 2016, Montgomery was appointed by Tharp to serve as alderman of Ward 2, Position 2, after David Sutton resigned. He continued serving on the city council and the planning and zoning commission as council liaison until his death.

"The city of Decatur has indeed lost a champion," Tharp concluded. "To Bill, I would like to say, thank you for what you have taught us, thank you for your service to Decatur, thank you for your caring heart. You will be greatly missed, my dear friend."

General News on 09/05/2018

Print Headline: Former Decatur mayor loses battle with cancer

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