ALTON – The family of Troy Montgomery, a promising golfer and loving friend, is remembering their tragic loss a decade after his passing.

Montgomery died on Jan. 4, 2009, at the age of 22. His sister, Casey Montgomery, described her older brother as her “best friend,” adding his main passion was playing golf – a hobby he started as a child. She said he played throughout his life, even doing a bit for Lewis and Clark Community College where she described his spectators as “impressed” at his performance. Off the course, she said her brother was “constantly laughing” and cracking jokes, adding his was a “really tall goofball.” She said he enjoyed going to see live music and “talking nonsense.”

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This promising future was cut short after going out with some of his cousins for drinks in St. Charles on the evening of Jan. 3, 2009. On their way home, they collided with another drunk driver. Everyone recovered, except from Troy Montgomery, who passed in the early morning hours of Jan. 4.

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His life and love of golf are remembered by a tree planted in his name on the 14th hole fairway in Lockhaven Golf Course. Casey Montgomery and two of their other friends also have a portrait of him tattooed on them done by their elder brother, John A. Montgomery. Casey Montgomery said the milestone anniversary of her brother's passing feels different than many of the years previous.

The loss feels kinda surreal for the first time in years,” she said. “Something about a 10-year mark is shocking. There's so many things I wish I could share with him. A lot has happened in my life and everyone else's lives since then.

His death affected everyone greatly,” she continued. “My parents, family, friends and I have gone on with our lives, but I know sometimes it's hard and we break down, but I think he'd be happy to know that people he was close to are getting married and having families and trying to keep our lives going. I've kind of inherited his group of friends and I think he'd be thrilled to know I'm still close with them 10 years later.”

Jan. 4 was viewed as just another day by Troy Montgomery's friends and family, but everyone asked each other to consider him a little more than usual on that tragic anniversary.

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