Arthur Montano, 87, whom the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law named its 1997 lawyer of the year, died of lung cancer Monday, May 23, at his home in Punta Gorda, Fla. Mr. Montano moved to Florida from Haddonfield in 2000.

Mr. Montano, a native of Audubon, Camden County, was president of the Class of 1939 at Audubon High School, where he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball.

During World War II, he was a navigator on B-17s and flew bombing missions over Germany in 1945.

He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University in 1950 and graduated in 1954 from Rutgers School of Law in Camden.

Mr. Montano retired in 1997 from the former Cherry Hill law firm of Montano, Summers, Mullen, Manuel, Owens & Gregorio.

He earned a 1978 Trial Bar Award from the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey and the 1981 Peter J. Devine Distinguished Service Award from the Camden County Bar Association, his daughter Sharon Adams said.

In 1986, she said, Mr. Montano became a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and from 1986 to 1993, he was an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Rutgers School of Law in Camden.

He also was a Camden County trustee for the New Jersey State Bar Association.

Besides his daughter Sharon, Mr. Montano is survived by sons Arthur and Michael; daughters Sandy Bumgardner, Bernadette Dronson, and Cheryl Ann Hughes; a sister; 12 grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. His wife of 60 years, Ann, died in 2007.

A memorial service took place Tuesday, May 31.

Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.