Friday, March 4, 2011

Ramsey Montgomery

IT’S TAKEN ME THREE YEARS to write this entry.  It is very hard even now.  The loss of a child is so overwhelming that it does not go away; you do not get through it; you re-arrange your mental and emotional furniture.  Life is short; friends and family count the most; life is a true gift and you must not turn your back on it.

Our oldest son, Ramsey Montgomery, died of a massive brain aneurism March 4, 2008 in Saigon, Vietnam. He was just 40.  He had been living and teaching in Vietnam for four years.  He died in his apartment in his own bed.  Buddhists say that this is the kindest way to pass from this life to the next.

Ramsey was an adventurer, traveler, ski racer, author (4 Choose Your Own Adventure books), reader and thinker, teacher, and friend to people all over the world.  Rams could walk down a street in San Francisco or Boston or Paris or Bang Kok and run into people he knew.  He was loved by many people and loved them in return.

Rams spent 60 days in a Buddhist  forest monastery in Northern Thailand.  He had two roommates in his 9x10’ hut: a snake and a rat. Then one night the snake ate the rat.

Rams went to Green Mountain Valley School, a boarding school using ski racing as a metaphor for life, took a 13th year at a tutorial school in Oxford, England, went to UVM and UC Boulder.  He was a producer and project director for a number of start-up companies developing computer games and learning materials. He was good, really good.

Anson, his younger brother and also a CYOA author, Shannon my wife and his beloved step-mother, and I went to Vietnam where we met his friends both ex-pats and local Vietnamese. The warmth, acceptance, and help given by these people who loved Ramsey  helped us get through those days. His cremation was followed by a Buddhist ceremony in a temple with 50 of his friends.

Life is short.  At least the life we are currently in--remember energy is never lost, it is only transformed--so, Rams simply jumped the line at the bus stop ahead of us.

We love you, Rams, we will never forget you. Thanks.  Dad, Shan, Ans.



  1. Unconventional people like you and your son -- renaissance men -- add so much value to the world. I appreciate that you shared his story, and will try to use the example of his tremendous life and tragic death to fuel my own efforts with more urgency. 33 may not be as young as it feels.

    Your blog is such a find. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

  2. I love the way you write your books! it is so fun to be able to make your own choice to make the story the way you want it to be! either to make a right choice or a bad one but what makes it even better is you can choose your own adventure

    Emma, 9

  3. Ray,
    I don't know if you remember me, but I am Scott's oldest, Nina. I found my favorite photo of Ramsey and me in Bodega Bay when he was moving there and I was leaving. I have so many memories of him. I feel like Ramsey and Anson are the closest thing I ever had to a brother.I wish I had more memories. My kids are 12 and 10 and I think they would of thought of him as a really cool "Uncle". Just wanted to share and know if you would like me to send the photo to you.

    Take care,

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  5. RIP Ramsey.
    I will never forget those
    great times we had in
    Goodbye my friend.

  6. Rams.. looking forward to the time when we can reunite. RIP until then.

  7. We talk about him now and then! He was a great guy, funny, smart, loving, adventurous.
    His photo above was taken at our wedding in 2007, he was one of the men.
    R.I.P Ramsey!