Remembering ASU Police officer Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery, an ASU Police officer of 13 years, was killed in a recent motorcycle accident

On the morning of Jan. 14, the ASU Police Department lost a friend and mentor, officer Joseph Montgomery.

Joseph Montgomery died in an off-duty motorcycle accident in Tempe at the age of 54. A loving grandfather and husband, he touched the lives of many with his compassion and kindness for others, his family said.

"I could honestly say, even without bias, that he was the most selfless person I've ever met in my whole life," said his wife, Sandra Montgomery.

He helped shape the lives of his children, Allison Ramirez, Brett, Seth and Natalie Montgomery and left a legacy of love for his three grandchildren.

"He was always living life to the fullest," Ramirez said. "He was in love with his grandbabies, they were his world just as much as we were his world."

Ramirez said her parents had a love like no other. High school sweethearts, the pair recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

"He was my mom's soulmate," Ramirez said. "They were the greatest couple and the biggest inspiration we could have growing up because their love was so pure, so real."

Although it’s difficult to name only one favorite memory from the time Joseph Montgomery shared with loved ones, his son Brett Montgomery recalls some of his favorite memories with his father were outdoors.

The two would often go on camping trips and spend their days fishing and enjoying each other’s company.

“I remember once, he got really lucky and cast his line into a part that there weren’t many fish in. Then he pulled up this giant trout, and he went ‘Aha!’ super loud; I think he was surprised too," Brett Montgomery said.

This playful joy was one of Joseph Montgomery's trademarks and one that his family will dearly miss.

Joseph Montgomery was deeply involved with his children’s passions, one of the most prominent of them being sports.

He supported his daughters’ love for softball as a coach for several years. Later on, Ramirez would come to coach alongside him.

His children said their fondest memories with him come from afternoons watching football and cheering on the Los Angeles Rams.

ASU Police Officer Joseph Montgomery sits for a portrait on an unknown date. Montgomery died after a motorcycle crash in Tempe on Jan. 14, 2020.

An ASU Police Department veteran of over 13 years, his passing has left co-workers mourning the loss of an honored member of the University community.

“A lot of people lost a good friend. He was helpful, and was always there to lend a hand,” said an ASU Police Department spokesperson.

In his 34 years as a police officer, Joseph Montgomery wore the badge of service with pride and treated all whom he came across with the utmost respect, his family said. He began working at the age of 16 and became an officer at 20, they said.

His children said he was “the best of both worlds” as someone who could take charge and lead, while also being empathetic and nurturing.

The memories people have shared about Montgomery have brought the family a happiness money could never buy, and they encourage people to continue reaching out with stories.

Officers and police departments across the Valley have extended their condolences to the family, including ASU Police Chief Michael Thompson in a statement on Joseph Montgomery's death and his "hard work and dedication to the ASU community."

The Tucson, Scottsdale, Mesa and Gilbert Police Departments were among those who paid respects.

The city of Phoenix lowered its flags to half-staff in honor of Joseph Montgomery the day following the accident.

“Everyone has been rallying around us from all over the place,” Sandra Montgomery said. “I mean, the outpouring of love, I can't even begin to tell you how humbled we are.”

The support from ASU, Sandra Montgomery said, has reinforced the fact that they are part of the family.

Those looking to donate to the Montgomery family to aid in memorial funds can do so here.

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