Mathilde Montgomery Najjar, Ph.D.
August 9, 1922 – January 3, 2021
The legacy of the Montgomery family goes back to the late 1700s, where they were the first settlers in, what is now, Wayne County, MO. Tilly, the youngest of 3 children, was born in St. Claire, MO to Rev. J. C. Montgomery and his lovely wife, Ella Mae. Rev. Montgomery was a pastor at various Methodist churches throughout the state of Missouri, while Tilly’s mother taught in one-room school houses in several locations along the way.
At a time when it was rare for women to complete college, Tilly went to study at Southeast Missouri State University where she graduated with a double major in Biology and English. After college she held several jobs, one of which was a food product developer at Anheuser-Busch. Afterwards, she worked as a lab technician at Barnes Hospital at Washington University, where she met her husband, Dr. Victor Najjar. As a family they lived in Baltimore, Nashville, and Boston. While in Boston she earned her Ph. D. in Teacher Education at Boston University. She enjoyed a wonderful professional life as an adjunct professor at Radcliff College and Boston University as well as being a publisher and editor of several engineering journals. She spent her retirement years back in the town she dearly loved, Nashville, where she was active with the Belle Meade United Methodist Church, the Vanderbilt Sewing Club (a founding member in 1950’s), and the Vanderbilt Bridge Club.
Her brother, Rev. J. C. Montgomery, Jr, and her sister, Marianna Niblack, precede her in death. She is survived by her children: Jennifer Najjar Leeper (Paulus), Julie Najjar Petcu (David), and Victor Montgomery “Monty” Najjar. Many loving grand and great-grandchildren also survive her.
Tilly’s funeral service will be held outdoors at the church’s columbarium on January 22, 2021 at 11:00 AM. Due to health concerns and restrictions for gatherings, attendees will be limited to family members. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Belle Meade United Methodist Church and to the Ronald McDonald House.