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K.J. MONTGOMERY, Age 69, passed away peacefully on Jan. 17, 2023, in Cleveland, Ohio. She is survived by sons Martin Schultz of Sheffield Village, Ohio, and Drew Schultz (Lindsay Cronin) of Clawson, Michigan; their father, Lawrence Schultz of Naples, Florida; her loving partner Andy Haas of Avon Lake, Ohio; half-siblings Barb, Lynn, Mary, Michele, and Hal; cherished friends Loretta “Tweetie” Trafton, Josephine Deliberato, and Walter Ratcliffe; and innumerable others whose lives she touched.
K. J. was raised in Mentor, Ohio by her mother, Goldie Montgomery. Goldie, a professional opera singer and piano teacher, instilled in K.J. a lifelong passion for music. K.J. honed skills as a vocalist, pianist, and drummer during her time in the Mentor, Ohio school system. She completed a Bachelor of Music at Heidelberg College where she graduated salutatorian. She received her law degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law, transitioning into a career in the judicial system where she served as a Prosecuting Attorney for the cities of Richmond Heights, Highland Heights, and Shaker Heights.
In 1993, K.J. was elected Judge of the Shaker Heights Municipal Court, serving Shaker Heights, Beachwood, Hunting Valley, Pepper Pike, and University Heights. She went on to serve in this position for nearly three decades as part of a team that she loved, felt privileged to work alongside, and of which she was incredibly proud. Her job did not harden her; instead, it softened her. It taught her to recognize the good in every individual.
Music was always alive in K.J.’s heart. She brought her considerable talents to bear as a soloist, choir member, and singer in Cleveland’s “No Name Band,” to do charitable work for organizations including the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, American Red Cross, Recovery Resources, Animal Protective League, University Hospitals, and Shaker Heights Youth Center. She co-founded the “Night For The Red & White” gala event, raising funds annually for thirty years for the Shaker Schools Foundation.
Music and law collided when she stepped out of the Shaker Courtroom and into the Court of Nisi Prius, a social sanctuary of lawyers with satire-laden weekly lunches and its annual theater production. She brought the house down each year with vocal performances, skit writing, and stage productions.
K.J. surrounded herself with life: she loved animals, gardening, hosting parties, and time spent with her many friends. Her bright smile, enthusiasm, and limitless energy made everyone around her joyful. She lives on in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in K.J.’s memory to:
The Shaker Schools Foundation
15600 Parkland Dr., Shaker Heights, OH 44120
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
2937 W. 25th St., 2nd Floor, Cleveland, OH 44113
Services will be held at 12:30pm on Saturday, March 4th, 2023. Celebration of Life to immediately follow with a performance by the No Name Band. Come dressed to dance! Services and Celebration will take place at the Shaker Heights High School, 15911 Aldersyde Dr., Shaker Heights, OH, 44120.
The services will be live streamed via this webpage below.
Saturday, March 4, 2023
Starts at 12:30pm (Eastern time)
Shaker Heights High School
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