Bob Montgomery, a World War II veteran and typewriter mechanic in Bremerton since 1946, passed away on Monday. He was 96.
Montgomery was featured in a 2014 Seattle Times profile that named him “the area’s last typewriter mechanic.” He and his business – the Bremerton Office Machine Company – have appeared in radio and television news pieces on KUOW and KING-TV.
One of the oldest continually operating businesses in the area, the Bremerton Office Machine Company first opened in 1946.In 2016, Montgomery sold the store to Paul Lundy, though he continued working until recently.
Lundy said Montgomery taught him most of what he knows about the seemingly archaic, but still humbly in demand, business.
“I went from a no-nothing guy, ready to learn,” Lundy said. “Bob quickly set me up with the mindset to be successful at repairing typewriters.”
“In the short time I mentored under Bob and got to know him, I came to admire him for his tenacity,” he added.
Montgomery was a well-known figure in the local arts community. A thespian, he acted, directed or helped produce more than 145 shows over 60 years at the Bremerton Community Theatre.
“He is the community theater,” said Jerry Smith, a BCT actor since 1961.
For his contributions to the city, Bremerton mayor Patty Lent proclaimed March 12 “Bob Montgomery Day” In 2014.
Current Bremerton mayor Greg Wheeler said Wednesday that Montgomery has had a lasting impact on the city.
“Back when the [Bremerton Community Theatre] first started, there weren’t a whole lot of entertainment options in the city. It really filled a need,” Wheeler said. “I consider Mr. Montgomery to be one of the pioneers that has helped Bremerton get to where we are today.”