Troy Montgomery, who parlayed his passion for photography into a career and was president of Professional Photographers of Northwest Ohio, died Thursday after a three-year battle with colon cancer. He was 54.
Mr. Montgomery was a cameraman and production news director for WDHO-TV and owned an appraisal company called Montgomery Appraisals before starting his own photography business, Montgomery Photographic. He spent the last several years of his life working as a professional photographer.
Mr. Montgomery's favorite was sports photography, though he also shot weddings and portraits, said Dennis Hagenwald, a colleague from Professional Photographers of Northwest Ohio.
"He had a passion for it, and he was very good at it," Mr. Hagenwald said.
Mr. Montgomery had loved photography since his childhood. He owned a large collection of cameras, many of them vintage or antique, his friend Susan Jester said.
Mr. Montgomery enjoyed sharing his knowledge and technique with fellow photographers. He was trying to finish organizing events for the photography group's members at the time of his death, Mr. Hagenwald said.
"He wanted to make sure all the t's were crossed and everything was ready to go," Mr. Hagenwald said.
Friends and colleagues described Mr. Montgomery as stubborn, but deeply caring.
Ms. Jester met him when he was an appraiser and she was a community mortgage lender for low to middle-income families at Society Bank, now part of KeyBank. The two struck up a friendship and business relationship, but it took some time, Ms. Jester said.
"He was the type of person that you wanted to choke and love, all at the same time," she said. "But once you got past the barriers that he put up, he was a big teddy bear."
Mr. Montgomery was born in Toledo, graduating from Scott High School in 1972.
Before he became a cameraman, he worked at Dale Funeral Home and was later hired as the first male telephone operator at Ohio Bell.
He was married three times and fathered three children.
His daughter, Gwendolyn Wofford, described him as a generous and playful father who frequently took his children to the park and started grilling outside as soon as the weather allowed it.
He also loved golfing and watching Chicago Bulls games with a large group of friends.
"People just loved to be around him," Ms. Wofford said.
Surviving are his parents, R.D. and L.E. Montgomery; sons, Troy II and Anthony; daughter, Gwendolyn Wofford; brothers, Robert, Dennis, Roy, and Stan; sister, Darlene Chandler, and three grandchildren. Services will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Bethlehem Baptist Church, New Life Center.
The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or the American Cancer Society.