Born in Nebraska City, Nebraska on January 24, 1898, Winona Montgomery came to Arizona in 1919 and was an Arizona resident for 71 years. She attended the University of Arizona where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree and began her teaching career in Florence. Throughout the years, Miss Montgomery pursued graduate studies at the University of Arizona, Stanford University, Northern Arizona University, Washington State University, University of Montana, Mills College, and Arizona State University.
After teaching in Florence for a year, she moved to Phoenix and taught at Phoenix Union High School from 1923 to 1939. In 1939 Winona transferred to North High School where she taught until her retirement in 1963. During her teaching years she worked diligently for the betterment of all teachers. Her work with the State Legislature bore fruit with the passing of a bill for a teachers’ retirement and tenure system.
After 40 years of teaching Winona retired from Phoenix Union High Schools and turned her attentions toward the betterment of Arizona’s elderly. In retirement, she became a champion for all of Arizona’s senior citizens and continued to educate legislators on important issues to aid the elderly.
Miss Montgomery began working with the Arizona Retired Teachers Association as soon as she retired. In 1964 she served as president of Arizona Retired Teachers and was also elected to represent the National Retired Teachers Association at their National Conference in 1965 and the Regional Conference in 1966.
She also exercised leadership in the Arizona Education Association, the Governor’s Council on Aging, and the League of Women Voters. She was a Legislative Chairman for both the Arizona Retired Teachers Association and the Phoenix Senior Citizens Council and was a member of the Maricopa Senior Citizens Council, serving on subcommittees for Transportation and Housing.
She was an active member of the American Association of University Women and provided a tremendous amount of support to the educational television station KAET, a public service station currently under the auspices of Arizona State University in Tempe.
In 1971, she was appointed by Governor Jack Williams as a delegate to the state White House Conference on Aging at Arizona State University where she was honored as Arizona’s Outstanding Older American.
Winona Montgomery died in Phoenix on April 29, 1990 at the age of 92.