Archpriest Daniel Binney Montgomery peacefully fell asleep in the Lord on August 12, 2020 at the age of 96.
Born in Bryn Mawr, PA to an old Quaker family, Father Daniel was educated at the Haverford School until 1942, when he enlisted in the Army Air Force. He served during WWII in Europe as a radio operator in the Ninth Tactical Air Force and later in the First Franco-American Tactical Air Force, participating in seven campaigns—among them the Normandy campaign and the Battle of the Bulge. After the war he went to Mexico, graduating from Mexico City College—now, Universidad de las Américas, with a degree in history.
In 1947 he married María Luisa Tamborrel. They were married for sixty-nine years until her passing in 2016. The couple had three children, twelve grandchildren, and four great-grandsons.
He was a scholar, an educator, a writer, a lecturer, and a devoted priest. He had a facility for languages, a Master’s degree in Spanish literature, published articles on Eastern Christian mysticism, and two books on Buddhism. He was co-translator of The Lotus Sutra from Chinese to English. His best-known work, Fire in the Lotus, was published in England in 1991 and was later translated into Spanish. He was educated at Princeton University Seminary and Philadelphia Lutheran Seminary. Beginning in 1956 Father Daniel served parishes in Vicksburg, Mississippi; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Beaumont, Texas; Trumbull, Connecticut, and Kerrville, Texas. During his years as an educator, when he was Department Chair of foreign languages at Valley Forge Military Academy and was awarded Outstanding Secondary Educator of America (1975), he served as Chaplain to Orthodox Cadets.
One of his Connecticut parishioners wrote to him on Easter in 2019, summing up the great value of his life: “You were a wonderful teacher. Your sermons provoked thought and discussion in our home. You nurtured our love and understanding of the Orthodox faith without being showy or pedantic. You encouraged us to be the best of ourselves and to find His peace in our hearts. You taught us about faith, kindness, tolerance, and hope. You guided our approach to the chalice with free, open, and humble hearts. You led by example. You were a gift to all of us!”
He is preceded in death by his wife, Maria Louisa; and his daughter, Louise Montgomery Snyder. He is survived by his daughter, Dr. Sylvia Montgomery Shaw; and his son, Robert Montgomery.
Funeral arrangements will be posted as they are received.
May Father Daniel’s memory be eternal!