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The Honorable Warren Montgomery – In Memoriam

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A Journey of Faith

WRITTEN BY MARLAINE PEACHEY

“The power of one man or one woman doing the right thing for the right reason, and at the right time, is the greatest influence in our society.” – Jack Kemp

Warren Montgomery believed that every moment in his life was the time to do the right thing. He was taught as a child to remember that truth was worth fighting for, even if no one stands with you.

While at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, he attended Young Life Ministries. Here, Warren accepted Jesus Christ as His Savior, which set the foundation for his life’s journey. He continued attending Young Life through college which greatly strengthened his faith and encouraged him to look forward to the path God planned for him.

After law school, Warren moved forward into positions that would eventually prepare him for his final destiny here on earth. He sought God one step at a time and learned from Romans 8:28 that “In all things God works for the good of those that love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Every measure of Warren’s experience, whether in the legal system, national, state and local government, or the corporate business world, prepared him for God’s plan for his life.

His path took him to France, Mexico and Guatemala, where he learned to fluently speak those languages. He volunteered for the Reagan campaign in 1979 and remained in Washington as a lobbyist for the Department of Labor. He later returned to New Orleans and became a U.S. Attorney.

At that time, he began to attend a group called “Friday Night Fellowship.” It was here that he met Valerie Hatfield, fell in love and married after a year of courtship. “It was a great time in our lives,” said Valerie. “We were all different faiths, but we worshiped, prayed, studied the Bible and enjoyed a potluck dinner on those Friday nights. Many of those young people are still our friends today after 40 years.”

The Montgomery family grew, choosing St. Tammany to settle down. Today, all four adult children are grown and on their own. Warren and Val adopted their youngest, Elijah, who is still at home attending St. Paul’s.

Montgomery’s next endeavor was to work as Congressman Bob Livingston’s District Manager. Next, he entered the business world, serving as Vice-President of the ICEE Corporation and moved his family to Puerto Rico for 5 years.

“Our life was a grand adventure,” said Valerie. “During this time, we traveled and visited many places with the whole family. Warren also gained an understanding of supervising 100 employees under adverse conditions.”

In 2001, they moved back home where he began a private practice. Every segment of Warren’s experience, whether in the legal system, national, state and local government or the corporate business world, prepared him for God’s plan for his life.

As he witnessed the DA’s office in need of resolve and reform, Warren went to his knees in prayer and Valerie along with him. They believed God had prepared him to run for office. He won and was sworn in as District Attorney in 2015.

Now in position, he began to build an office of integrity. He believed in working for the people, restoring their confidence and making St. Tammany and Washington parishes safe for future generations. He instilled this vision in every employee. His office made a positive difference eliminating the case backlog, converting dismissal rates to convictions, and reducing the cost of operations.

During the last year of his first term, Warren was diagnosed with cancer, but felt God wasn’t finished with him yet. He had a good team and didn’t want the corrupt influences of the past to reestablish themselves. There was a small room off to the side of his office that Warren used for private time with God. He always sought His guidance, and here received the mission to run again.

In November 2020, he was reelected as District Attorney. His term was short, but not uneventful. He was handed the high-profile case of Jack Strain, the longtime sheriff who was being prosecuted for various sexual charges and at the same time indicted on federal charges for soliciting and receiving bribes. It was a chilling courtroom drama, but Warren’s office did an impeccable job. Collin Sims led the prosecution; the goal was justice for the victims and conviction of those who used their power to extremes. Montgomery gave a press conference on the steps of the courthouse, stating that no one was above the law, and that our system, when done correctly, works.

“Warren was devoted to serving and protecting our community and, in that regard, he never backed down from anything or anyone,” remarked Collin Sims. “Each and every day, his actions embodied those words.”

Warren Montgomery’s legacy is his unshakable faith in God and that he was a loving husband and father, a mentor to business leaders and public servant that faithfully did the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.

Dr. Michael Sprague, Louisiana Chaplain, commented, “I delighted in Warren’s humanity and humility. He pursued justice, loved mercy and walked humbly with God. His was a life well lived.”

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