Obituaries

Philip James ‘Phil’ Montgomery Sr.

Former Mattituck resident Philip James “Phil” Montgomery Sr., 91, passed away peacefully Aug. 13, 2022, in Huntington, N.Y., surrounded by his loving family.

Born Nov. 14, 1930, in Port Jefferson, N.Y., he was the son of John H. Montgomery and Regina (Lynam) Montgomery and younger brother of John “Jack” Montgomery.

A terrific athlete at Port Jefferson High School, Phil later tried out for the New York Giants baseball team. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted by the U.S. Army to serve his country during the Korean War. While training to learn Morse code for a special operation, he suffered a severe ear infection, which left him hospitalized for nearly a year with partial hearing loss. While home on leave, Phil met his beautiful “bride to be,” Patricia Jane “Pat” Suess, and they married on Sept. 12, 1953. A year later they would begin their family, which continued to grow over the next 20 years and produce nine fine children. They lived in two successive homes in North Babylon and moved with their five youngest children to Mattituck in 1978. Each home was larger and lovelier than the one before. 

Phil and Pat were active members of their Catholic parishes, St. Joseph’s in Babylon and Sacred Heart in Cutchogue. Phil worked hard to support his growing family as a circulation supervisor for Newsday. He often held side jobs to help supplement his income for all of the children. Christmas was always an enchanting season full of God, gifts, joy, love and family. Family was very important to Phil and he was a thoughtful, loving and devoted father and husband.

After his wife Pat’s untimely passing from breast cancer in 1982, Phil continued to work hard and finish raising the children. He then met his longtime companion, Diane Fabb, to share his life with. Together they shared a wonderful journey over the ensuing years.

Ever the sportsman, Phil played in adult baseball and softball leagues and was also an avid bowler and golfer. A man of many words, he could always be counted on for a quick quip or an answer to your problems. He was blessed with a sparkling sense of humor that could leave you laughing for days. He loved to tell a good story and keep you hanging on the edge of your seat for the punchline, which would never disappoint. He was a faithful reader of Newsday and The Suffolk Times. He enjoyed watching the news and the New York professional sports teams, especially baseball. 

Phil always maintained his incredible memory and always knew something about whatever Long Island town someone was from. He loved to talk to people and learn about them and their lives and would always manage to make some type of connection with them. His terrific sense of humor and charisma made him a truly memorable man who people loved to be around or chat about. His legacy will live on with his extended family and the stories will be passed on from generation to generation with a smile and a sigh. We will all truly miss you, “Big Daddy,” and you will remain “forever in our hearts.”

He is survived by his nine children, Philip Jr. (Donna); Patricia (Theodore) Smith; Pamela (David) Parker; Kevin; Linda (Edward) Whittle; Michael (Maria); Carol (Jack Argila); Jeanne; and James (Colleen); his 19 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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