ORLEANS PARISH, LOUISIANA
January 3, 1959 - November 10, 2021
Lisa Montgomery, talented litigator, kindhearted sister and cherished twin, died Nov. 10, 2021 in Charlotte, N.C., two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. She was 62.
Lisa was a New Orleans girl through-and-through. She left the city to attend LSU in Baton Rouge, but never considered moving anywhere else. She returned to live in drafty Victorian houses and play in Audubon Park. She graduated from Tulane Law School in 1984 and was a partner in local law firms.
Later, she struck out on her own, developing a thriving practice in an eclectic range of civil litigation matters, from commercial construction to investigating the provenance of art. Ever pragmatic, in her last days she worked the phone to line up her clients with new lawyers. “Maybe you’ll get a better rate,” she joked to one.
By all accounts, Lisa lived a measured life. Not a drinker or carouser, her addictions were beautiful clothes, stylish but sensible shoes and art. She also loved, in no particular order, birds, cats, weak coffee, political intrigue, most things British and her family. In her last years, she was a tender presence in the lives of her two nearby siblings.
Lisa married twice. The first union ended in divorce, and the second left her widowed. She noted that two husbands were plenty enough for any one woman, and she remained happily single.
She loved British crime dramas - “no one does murder better than the Brits” - and British humor. She could and did recite Monty Python skits with annoying frequency. Certain members of the royal family earned her ire for their bad driving and even worse behavior.
She was a fixture on the New Orleans art auction scene. Lisa loved most anything in a frame – from etchings to lithographs to paintings. Walter Anderson works, and Newcomb pottery were favorites. Art crowded every wall in her home, and it somehow worked, lending beauty and elegance to her cozy surroundings.
Curious by nature, she was fascinated by history, whether Louisiana or family ancestry. She discovered the law as a college student while interning at a real estate title company. She spent that summer reading obituaries, searching for birth certificates and often being surprised by the events that led to divorce in the early 1900s. She realized that those dry documents offered telling insights into the lives of ordinary people. She was hooked.
Her love of history dovetailed with her talent for trivia, for which she had quick answers and notable accuracy. She specialized in recalling the band names of one-hit wonders. No one beat her, ever, but we all tried.
As New Orleans natives do, Lisa gave driving directions by using cemeteries as landmarks or noting a location was on the “lake side or river side” of the city. She was a Southern gal, too, who could barely hide her dismay when she couldn’t find an iced teaspoon in the cutlery drawer.
And, finally, she was an unabashed Saints fan who always wore black and gold on Fridays to support her beloved team, no matter the previous week’s blunders.
Many adored Lisa for her generosity and bright spirit. She made friends with neighbors and shopkeepers, colleagues, and collectors. On her last night in New Orleans, two childhood friends brought hugs and heartfelt goodbyes.
Lisa left this world the same way she came in – with her twin sister, Cynthia, at her side. She is also survived by siblings Michael Montgomery (Jo Anne) of Hammond, La., Christine Montgomery of Metairie, La., and a cousin, Robin Jennings (William) of Shreveport, La. Lisa leaves an enduring love for her brother-in-law, Cliff Mehrtens, and nephew Jack Mehrtens. At her request, no memorial is planned.
We will miss her so.
The Montgomery Family have entrusted arrangements to Cremation Society of Charlotte.
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