Sara Garland Montague, a professional dancer turned Baltimore County schoolteacher, died Wednesday at Shenandoah Health Village Center in West Virginia of complications from a stroke. The longtime Pikesville resident was 82.
Born Sara Garland in Gaffney, S.C., she was the daughter of the town pharmacist and optometrist. She trained as a chemist at the University of North Carolina and moved to Baltimore after graduation in 1944 to work at Calvert Distilleries, where she met her future husband, Wallace G. Montague. They would be married for 59 years. He survives her.
The couple were talented dancers who competed professionally, eventually quitting their jobs at the distillery to teach at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Baltimore.
Mrs. Montague became a teacher in the late 1950s after the birth of her son, Robert. She taught sixth grade at Franklin Elementary School in Reisterstown, retiring after 35 years as an educator. While teaching, Mrs. Montague earned a master's degree from what is now Towson University.
Robert Montague, a resident of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., said his parents never lost their love of dancing, though they had to stop after Mrs. Montague developed hip problems in her 50s. Her husband continued to teach dance at a club they belonged to in West Virginia, and she immersed herself in the social scene there, Robert Montague said.
Until last year, the Montagues split their time between Pikesville and a hand-crafted log cabin in Shannondale, W.Va.
The family plans to hold a private memorial service. At Mrs. Montague's request, her body will be donated to the West Virginia University School of Medicine for research.