Montgomery Thomas Monfore
January 27, 1961 - October 24, 2017
Montgomery Thomas Monfore January 27, 1961 – October 24, 2017 The family of Montgomery Thomas Monfore “Monte” is saddened to share that their beloved son, brother, uncle, cousin, friend passed away, tragically, while living on the beautiful Northern Mariana Island of Rota.
Monte (56) was born in Fresno, California and raised in Hanford where he attended Hanford Christian School and Hanford Union High School, both at which he was elected class president. He was also elected Home Coming King by his High School graduating class of 1979. He was a competitive swimmer and avid water polo player from early childhood through his adult years. Before High School, he was a member of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) swim team of Kings County. He participated in both sports in High School and at UC Berkeley from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in the field of Social Sciences in 1984. After college, Monte moved to Tokyo, Japan where he worked as an English teacher. He taught private and group lessons, and accompanied client tourists from Japan to various parts of America. He built long-lasting friendships while anchored in Tokyo. He went on to embark upon a spiritual trek to Nepal, India in the early 1990s, and visited Bali, Indonesia shortly thereafter. Bali captured his heart. He fell in love with that enchanting island. He had a genuine love for the people of Indonesia and their spirit of tolerance, and though he had always enjoyed ocean swimming, Bali drew him further into that endeavor. It wasn't long before he took root in Bali which inspired his love of long-distance swimming and deepened his bond with marine environments.
Monte's love for ocean swimming turned into a charitable career. His ultimate goal was to call attention to environmental and humanitarian causes. In 2006, Monte swam 12km in the Karimunjawa National Marine Park in an effort to draw attention to the needs of the survivors of the Yogyakarta earthquake and subsequent Tsunami. In 2007, Monte achieved a world record when he swam 7km from Lombok to Gili Trawangan Island (Lombok Strait) in Indonesia. He humbly accepted the honor but was determined to use the swim to highlight the issue of world hunger, and raise funds for the United Nations World Food Program. Later that year, Monte set another record for swimming the treacherous Bali Strait in only 29 minutes, 30 seconds.Monte did several other charitable ocean-swims while also fighting symptoms of an elusive medical condition known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Yet, his health declined at a steady pace over the years. Eventually, his charitable swims ceased. Although, he never lost his ambition to do more and hoped his health would improve so he could return to what he considered to be his great work on the planet.
'My main objective is to swim in support of environmental and humanitarian causes. Another thing I hope to achieve is, in a small way, contribute to a better understanding between people of different parts of the earth.'
In 2012 Monte returned to California to spend time with his father, and took root in his home-town of Hanford. Still, he craved the tropical environment to which he had become accustomed. In the Spring of 2017, Monte returned to the tropics by way of the southernmost island of the United States Commonwealth archipelago, Rota Island. He was drawn to the island's beauty. He was transitioning into making Rota his home. His plan was to live simply, experience respite, develop new friendships, and share of himself, while he continued to write his memoir.
Monte marched to the beat of his own drum. He did not opt for a conventional life, nor were marriage and children part of his life plan. His family supported his passions and encouraged him to live up to his own expectations, and not that of society. He experienced a few great loves in his time, but none matched his affection for the sea and living by his own unique code. He enjoyed the arts, especially classical music which he listened to on a daily basis.
Traveling was an immense passion of his. He also cared deeply about people. He made an effort to learn about the various cultures and religions throughout the globe. He despised prejudice and bigotry and worked to enlighten others about the negative impact of hate in the world. He had friends throughout all the places he lived. Some of his friendships go back to his early childhood spent in Hanford, California, and remembered them with fondness and deep, unconditional love. Monte's heart embraced everyone—even those who misunderstood, hurt or disappointed him.
Monte is survived by his father, Thomas E. Monfore, MD, his step mother, Irma Monfore, Sisters Kimberly A. Monfore (Hawaii), Terrie L. Monfore (California), Dana M. Lucas (Oregon), Brother-In-Law, Paul F. Lucas (Oregon), Niece, Kiley M. Lucas and Nephew, Kaiden S. Lucas. He was preceded in death by his Beloved mother, Carol L. Monfore, his nephew, Rowan M. Lucas, and his maternal and paternal grandparents.
A Celebration of Life will be held on what would have been Monte's 57th birthday: January 27, 2018, 2:00pm at the Irwin Street Inn, 522 N Irwin St, Hanford, CA 93230.In lieu of flowers please help continue Monte's work on the planet by making a tax deductible donation to the United Nations World Food Program, 1725 Eye Street NW, Suite 510, Washington DC 20006. To donate online: http:/cdn.wfp.orgonate/