Sheila Ann Montgomery of Elk Grove, Ca was called home on Monday, March 13th , 2023 at the age of 67 after a fiercely fought battle with illness. Sheila was born to Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Flanagan on October 4, 1955 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Soon after her birth, her father was stationed in Topeka, Kansas to continue his service in the U.S. Air Force. 8 month old Sheila, her mother, and father lived in Topeka, Kansas, along with her younger siblings, for Sheila’s early childhood years. At 7 years-old Sheila excitedly entered a kite contest and competed against “mild winds and dozens of boys” according to a local newspaper-Sheila won the Sweepstakes Ribbon (4 total) for skill and ingenuity. Her father was quoted in the paper as saying “She is a tomboy”….and that she “brings home forms for everything that goes on in that school.” Her family eventually left Topeka, Kansas for Glasgow Air Force Base in Glasgow, Montana where they remained through Sheila’s 6th grade year in school. She was a determined and competitive girl who loved to play basketball, baseball, and hide-and-go-seek. Sheila’s family moved again to Clinton Air Force Base in Clinton, Oklahoma where she attended middle school and began playing organized sports such as basketball. The Flanagans moved again to Beale Air Force Base, east of Marysville, California where Sheila attended Wheatland High School and graduated in 1973.
Sheila married John T. Montgomery in December of 1973 and worked her first job at the Foster Freeze in Marysville, California. The newly married couple moved to Sacramento, California where she initially worked at McDonald’s before getting hired at Sacramento Regional Transit as an information phone operator. She then went on to work in the dispatcher’s office and eventually a transportation operator. She went on to complete college as a respiratory therapist, graduating in 1990 from American River College with an Associates in Science. After graduating, she worked as a respiratory therapist at Sutter Hospital in the Emergency Room alongside a team of medical professionals. She then made a bold and fitting career move to Solano State Prison as a Correctional Officer. She officially retired from Regional Transit with 27 years of service in 2002 and even spent time as an Amtrak Conductor before returning to corrections and retired as a correctional sergeant with 8 years of service in 2013.
In 2012 she was diagnosed with Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma, a rare cancer, and was a part of a clinical study at Stanford. She received a stem cell transplant in November of 2012. Over the course of the next 11 years Sheila fought and survived other types of cancer and illness with an unmatched will to live. Her love for her children, Tyree and Janae, and her grandchildren, Nyah, Marin, Silas, and Lorenzo, and faith were the driving forces behind her strength-she wanted to be here and experience life with them and she did just that.
Sheila knew how to throw party and was known for her New Year’s parties. Her adventurous spirit took her to Rome, Greece, Mexico, Egypt, Spain, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Mediterranean, Europe, and several states. She had great luck at the high stakes slot machines and never lost her competitive edge. She was deeply generous, caring, and concerned with the wellbeing of her loved ones. Many times she paid for activities for Janae and Tyree’s friends throughout their childhoods to ensure the other kids would feel cared for and included. She took their friends school shopping, grocery shopping, and on family trips and vacations. She also ensured that her grandkids were able to participate in sports and have all the earthly things that she was able to give to them. She held herself to very high standards and held her loved ones to those same standards. She didn’t mince words, she spoke and loved openly and fiercely. If she loved you, you knew it and you felt it.
Sheila was preceded in death by her beloved father Elliott Roy Flanagan.
She is survived by her loving children Tyree Montgomery (Shelby) and Janae Montgomery, her grandchildren Nyah Reed (Austin), Marin Montgomery, Silas Montgomery, and Lorenzo Reed, her mother Theresa Flanagan Henry, her devoted sisters Jacqueline Vaughn and Terri Gibson (David), and her nephews, cousins, aunt, uncle, and many friends.