It is with much regret and sorrow that we announce the passing of Daniel Dickey Montroy, 82, of Fernandina Beach. Dan was a much-loved husband, father and grandparent who departed this world on Friday, September 25, 2020 after a brief COVID-related illness.
Born and raised in Decatur, Georgia, Dan was the only child of Daniel George and Hattie Lou Dickey Montroy. After graduating from Marist High School Dan entered Georgia Institute of Technology where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management in 1960. Dan subsequently accepted a commission in the U.S. Army in which he served honorably, being discharged in 1962 at the rank of First Lieutenant.
Following his service to the nation Dan worked as an industrial engineer for several national and international companies. One of his first corporate jobs was at Kraft Foods in Atlanta. He later transitioned to the paper production industry and worked for ITT Rayonier, a leading provider of timber, pulp, and wood products. At the time of his retirement Dan worked for the U. S. Army at Fort McPherson in Atlanta.
Dan was an ardent outdoorsman enjoying shooting, hunting and hiking in the mountains. In later years he connected with nature from his patio, enjoying the sounds of wildlife emanating from the forest surrounding his home in Cumming, Georgia, and most recently from his patio overlooking the marsh in Fernandina. His natural love of water led Dan to serve as a guide on the Chattooga River in North Georgia, honing his skills and fondness for canoeing and white-water sports. Dan loved gathering his family for canoe trips and was happy paddling in sun or rain through the Okefenokee Swamp and the Chattahoochee River.
Veterans’ benefits allowed Dan to earn his private pilot’s license and to fly small planes for over 30 years. He trained at the Greenville South Carolina Downtown Airport, perfecting his skills doing touch and go’s with his kids, who were simultaneously thrilled and a bit nauseous. With a heart for exploring, Dan, with and his wife Betty, scoured Europe, the Greek Isles, Russia and Turkey. Venturing on safari in Africa, the pair so enjoyed elephant riding and wilderness camping, they repeated it just a few years later.
As an amateur World War II historian Dan was an avid reader of military history throughout his adult life. After his retirement he was able to combine his love of history and travel to visit historical sites throughout Europe, China and Russia. He especially loved walking the beaches of Normandy, collecting and dating rocks from each site in commemoration and homage to their significance in history and to his life. Dan adored “Mad” King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. So enamored was he of this enchanting palace that a picture of it served as screen saver on his computer. A framed print of the palace also adorned the wall in his man cave, among framed prints of WWII fighter planes from the Battle of Britain. Incongruously, these historic prints shared the display wall with prints of the Varsity, the iconic drive-in restaurant adjacent to the Georgia Tech campus. Dan loved their hot dogs and onion rings, and always finished a meal with a peach pie and a PC (plain chocolate milk served with ice).
Dan’s pursuits included an affinity for bridge, which developed during his teen years while sitting in for his mother playing against his aunts in Decatur. This source of enjoyment and entertainment throughout his life continued in Fernandina where he was an avid member of a Friday-afternoon Council on Aging men’s bridge club group. He regrets not winning more frequently as he was prone to over-bidding his hand. On the lighter side, Dan loved playing Uno with his grandkids, especially at holiday celebrations.
Dan was deeply committed to his faith and to the Church. While in In Atlanta he and his wife were members of the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, and together they served many years as volunteers for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, working extensively and diligently with those in need. Since moving to Fernandina Beach, Dan and Betty became parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Mission. His commitment to his family, life, church and work was rooted in his values; he was a traditionalist and perfectionist. Dan could easily be described as “Old School” and exemplified the engineer stereotype; meaning that the simple act of hanging a picture required not only a tape measure but a level and at least two other people to take orders. Dan was also a master of organization and efficiency. His collection of videos, travel books and literature are a testimony to this much sought-after talent, as they are all ranked not only in chronological order but by content as well.
Dan leaves behind his much beloved wife of 42 years, Betty Cosson Montroy of Fernandina Beach; his children, Dana Montroy Ray of Lilburn, Georgia; Teresa Ann Montroy of McDonough, Georgia; Daniel Christopher Montroy of Snellville, Georgia; his stepson, Bo Smith and his wife, Brenda, of Yulee, Florida; and three grandchildren who knew him as Papa D: Suzanne Kathleen Kegley, Amarin Montroy and Thomas Montroy.
The life of Dan Montroy will be remembered and celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Mission in Yulee on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 11:00 AM. After the service concludes a light reception will be held in the outdoor pavilion adjacent to the church. In lieu of flowers the Montroy family encourages donations to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul at these locations:
Dan will be laid to rest at Bosque Bello Cemetery at a later date.