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In Memoriam: Mark T. Montgomery, M.D.

Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed. • Wed, February 28th, 2018

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His presence would fill a room, say his friends. Mark Montgomery, M.D., a much-adored hand surgeon, was taken from his friends, families and colleagues on January 9, 2018 in the recent California mudslides. Also lost in the tragedy was his 22-year-old daughter, Caroline.

Dr. Montgomery is survived by his wife, Catherine, their daughter Kate, and son Duffy.

An orthopedic surgeon at Cottage Health in Santa Barbara, California, Dr. Montgomery attended Columbia University Medical School. He then completed an orthopedic residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and a fellowship in hand and upper extremity surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

David Ring, M.D. said of his friend, “Mark was a hand fellow at the Brigham when I was a Harvard orthopaedic resident. He was a role model for politeness and professionalism. He was smart, compassionate, and level-headed. I always enjoyed catching up with him at the annual American Society of Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) reunions. I'm not surprised by the outpouring of love from his community and his patients. This is a terrible loss.”

Drs. Barry Simmons and Peter Waters let their appreciation show, saying, “We mourn the loss of Mark Montgomery. Mark was a wonderful colleague, physician, friend, devoted father and husband. His educational achievements are remarkable.”

“Mark graduated from Princeton University where he wrestled and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons where he played rugby. Mark also did his orthopedic residency training at Columbia where he developed many lasting personal and professional relationships.”

“We had the good fortune of Mark spending a year with us as our fellow in Harvard Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. Mark was special, a joy.”

“His intelligence speaks for itself, but his quiet confidence, common sense and devotion to his colleagues and patients made him exceptional. Mark was naturally calm and unobtrusive in his respectful professional manner, but during down times between cases or clinics, Mark’s wit and social intelligence stood out. As he would slide a quick humorous comment by you, his glowing smile would light the room. This was Mark Montgomery. He was the true ‘still waters run deep.’”

“As he finished his year with us and headed out to Santa Barbara, quite a departure for an Eastern-trained physician, he remarked that his year with us was more than just learning hand surgery; ‘This year I’ve learned about how to balance family, career and colleagues.’ What more could mentors want?”

“Mark was loyal. Clearly devoted to his wonderful wife and children, he also never forgot us or any of his professional colleagues and friends as time went by. We always looked forward to his company at annual meetings and fellowship reunion dinners where Mark’s dry wit and smile filled the room. Of course, the temptation was to ask him when he would return to the East Coast. We can always remember his charming smile as he said ‘never.’”

“Mark Montgomery was special. He will be missed and never forgotten.”

Mel Rosenwasser, M.D. commented, “I knew him well and we spent much time talking about his career path towards hand surgery. All of us who remember Mark fondly were shocked and saddened by this horrific accident of nature. I always picture Mark with his warm and inviting smile and his calm demeanor punctuated by sardonic humor.”

“He was a great resident and a skilled and dedicated hand surgeon. We always met at the annual meeting of ASSH and talked about life, family, and recounted the raucous stories of his resident days. He reveled in his move to California and joked with me about New York winters and the Manhattan mayhem he had escaped. One thing I know is how he enjoyed the little things of everyday life and he wore that on the big smile that I will always remember.”

A celebration of life was held for Dr. Mark Truslow Montgomery and Caroline Grace Montgomery on February 24, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California.

Memorial donations may be made to the Mark and Caroline Montgomery Memorial Fund, c/o Santa Barbara Foundation. For more information about the foundation, please contact 805-963-1873.

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