Cleo Edith (Ward) Montgomery and her twin, Cletus Edward Ward, were born on February 19, 1913 in the Oak Grove community of Texas County, Missouri, to William Larry and Polly Kite (Flowers) Ward. They were the 10th and 11th of 14 children.
She passed away September 7, 2008 at the age of 95 in Strafford Care Center in Strafford, Missouri. The day before her death she had played the piano for the residents there. She went to sleep Saturday night at her normal time and woke up in Heaven to everlasting morning. The nurse found her gone when he went to wake her Sunday morning.
Cleo was united in marriage to Elvie Clinton Montgomery in March of 1931 near Cabool, Missouri, by Elvie’s father, Henry D. Montgomery. Six children were born to their union.
Cleo was a very special mother who raised six children on her own after the death of her husband in December 1947, when she was 34 years old. Her son Eric was born one month after his father’s death.
Cleo was preceded in death by her husband; a son, Jackie Gene, killed in Vietnam in 1968; a very special daughter-in-law, Margaret, who died September 5, 2008; her best friend and twin brother, who died in May 2008; two grandchildren, Kaia and Marty Harral in September 1981; her parents; and 11 brothers and sisters.
She is survived by five children, Gerald Morris of Fair Grove, Missouri, Eric Ward and wife Debrah of Springfield, Missouri, Betty Throckmorton and husband LeRoy of Ft. Collins, Colorado, Shirley Kittrell and husband Don of St. Louis, Missouri, and Joann Harral and husband Hubert of Fair Grove, Missouri; 13 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Edna Coats of Houston, Missouri, and Mildred Pluff of Odessa, Texas; a sister-in-law, Alice Ward of Liberty, Missouri; a brother-in-law, Robert Montgomery of Fayette, Missouri; and many beloved nieces and nephews and a host of friends.
Services were at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, September 11, 2008, at First Freewill Baptist Church in Cabool with Rick Batten and Ed Hardy officiating. Pallbearers were Kevin Montgomery, Chris Montgomery, Michael Montgomery, Jeremy Montgomery, Joshua Montgomery, Jeffrey Throckmorton and Jackie Kittrell. Interment was in Cabool Cemetery under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.
In lieu of flowers the family requested memorials to Cabool Senior Center.