Cover photo for Walter Montgomery Oates's Obituary
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1930 Walter 2022

Walter Montgomery Oates

January 7, 1930 — June 9, 2022

Walter Montgomery Oates

Spartanburg - Walter Montgomery Oates (Montgomery) passed away on Thursday, June 9 at the Hospice Home in Spartanburg, SC. He was 92 years old. Montgomery is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Julia Henderson Oates; his twin sister, Lalage Katherine Warrington, both of Spartanburg, SC and his children: Katherine Crosland McLeod (John) of Mill Valley, CA, Walter Montgomery Oates Jr. (Joy) and Frances Henderson Oates of Spartanburg, SC, grandchildren: Ruthie Bailey (Vic), Monty Oates III, Bernhardt Jungkind, Blair McLeod, Christopher Jungkind and great-granddaughters, Chapman and Guy Stuart Bailey. Montgomery is preceded in death by his parents, Kate Louis Montgomery Ward of Spartanburg and Fred Blanton Oates of Asheville, NC, and his siblings, Fred Oates and Betty Gage. Blessed with a large and close family, Montgomery also leaves behind many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.


Montgomery was born on January 7, 1930, in Asheville, NC and was a charter member of Asheville Country Day School. He attended Christ School, Sewanee Military Academy, Clemson University and Murdock Cotton Classing School in Memphis, TN.

Montgomery served in the US Air Force as an X-Ray Technician during the Korean War. His first occupation was as a Cotton Broker in Spartanburg, SC.  Montgomery, with his wife Julia, then went on to build and operate two private Christian summer camps for children. Camp Kahdalea for girls, located in Brevard, NC, was established in 1963, and Camp Chosatonga for boys, located in Rosman, NC, was established in 1976. His career focused on the development of young people and helping them to become responsible Christian followers on their trail to adulthood.

Montgomery was a compassionate man who loved family, friends and gatherings. He was a lifelong member of the Biltmore Forest Country Club where he enjoyed dining with friends, playing tennis and golf.  He was a pilot, and he and Julia enjoyed traveling to golfing and coastal destinations and discovering new places.  If he liked a location, he would establish a residence there! He always had a project. Many times, these projects were building or renovating a house in their new hometown. His favorite quote, “It can be done!” expressed his personality perfectly.

His true love was Lake Summit and the mountains of Western NC. Montgomery and Julia spent most of their retirement years in Flat Rock, NC until 2017 when they moved to Summit Hills Retirement Community in Spartanburg, SC,

Wherever his home was at the time, Montgomery became an active part of the community. He quickly befriended his neighbors and found the local hardware store, golfing club and Episcopal church. He was Scoutmaster of SC’s first Boy Scout Troop, Troop 1, career member and President of the American Camping Association of Western North Carolina, and an active supporter of the American Red Cross, Flat Rock Historical Society, and American Cancer Society, to name some of his favorites.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.  The family will receive friends immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Episcopal Church of the Advent Foundation, 141 Advent Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302: Lake Summit Foundation, 15 Westminster Court, Hendersonville, NC 28739; or the charity of your choice.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Dunbar Funeral Home
& Crematory

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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