Drowning victim remembered as “incredibly gifted” pianist, teacher
After a day of hiking with friends near the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth, 42-year-old West Seattle resident Monty Carter waded out into an eddy to cool off around 5:30 p.m. on July 8.
His friends later told Chelan County Police Carter started yelling for help but went underwater before they could get to him. 35 minutes later, rescuers found his body five feet underwater very close to where he disappeared, according to The Wenatchee World.
“It is a terrible tragedy that someone so kind and talented should slip from our grasp at such a young age,” Paul Dolejsi, pastoral assistant for music at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle said of his friend and former colleague. “He will be greatly missed.”
Dolejsi said Carter, a gifted musician from an early age, was his principal accompanist at Holy Rosary from 2001 to 2006.
“He was an incredibly gifted pianist and was always kind and helpful with our singers and musicians,” he wrote to his parish staff in a letter shared with the Herald. “His talent and positive attitude were a real plus. The singers remember him for his kindness and patience … and that he could play a variety of piano styles at the drop of a hat.”
At the time of his death, Carter was a girls basketball coach and music teacher at The Northwest School in Seattle. He was also affiliated with the Seattle Opera and Spectrum Dance Theatre, Dolejsi said.
According to the Daily Inter Lake out of Kalispell, MT, Carter was raised in the Flathead Valley after being born in Okinawa, Japan in 1969, and showed obvious talent in piano and basketball from an early age.
He started playing piano at age four, entered national competitions by age 12 and eventually studied piano at the University of Michigan and earned a master’s degree in the discipline from Yale.