Martin Willard Montgomery


The sport of weightlifting lost a world champion on Feb. 8, 2022. Martin deadlifted 505 lbs. when he was in the 60-64 age group at 165 lbs., a world record that still stands. Martin was a medical miracle as he competed many years in retirement with severe heart disease, setting state and world records.

Martin was a high school teacher, administrator and winning football coach. He was inducted in these Halls of Fame: WABDL Weightlifting, Arcanum HS and Preble Co. Athletic.

Martin was in the Cradle of Coaches of Miami University (Ohio). He learned football coaching first from Woody Hayes (Ohio State) as a student there and from “Bo” Schembechler when he transferred to M.U. and married Karen.

He treasured his wife Karen (Clark) as they were married 56 years. He wrote: “Above all, know that the best part of my life has been my family: Karen, Stephanie, Jackson, and Leah Jane. Better not forget Mike and the dogs. I love you all very much. Please don’t be sad. From the movie Gladiator: ‘Death smiles at us all; all you can do is smile back.’ I’ve been doing that a long time…”

Eaton, Ohio, then Richmond, Indiana were their homes until Bonita Springs, Florida. There the Fitness Center and Sawgrass Point, both in of Pelican Landing, became for them a true caring community of dear friends and neighbors.

His daughter Stephanie of Northbrook, IL, son-in-law Mike Grabill, and awesome grandchildren Jackson (DePauw) and Leah (Michigan State) enjoyed many Augusts in Epworth Heights in Ludington, MI.

Son of Willard Clate Montgomery and Helen Miller Montgomery, born on December 1, 1942; his brother Douglas resides in Eaton. Doug and Martin shared a lifelong passion for harness racing as Marty groomed top race horses on the Grand Circuit before he went to college. Martin’s friends Fulvia Sanchez and Alice Poynter will miss him.

A Celebration of Life will be at the Schoolhouse Winery, north of Eaton, Ohio on July 30, 2022 from 11-1. The Winery is the former red brick schoolhouse that served as a seed house for the Montgomery farm where Martin grew up.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his Memory to the American Heart Association or a charity of your choice.