Lola, 6, bounces down the stairs to visit with her grandparents, snuggled in the home on the lower level. The next day, Lola and Elsie, 4, walk hand-in-hand down the street to their other grandma, just three doors down. It sounds idyllic because it is. Almost three years ago, Monte and his wife, Luella, had the opportunity to purchase a house with Monte’s in-laws who moved down from Ohio. They live in the bottom home, while Monte, Luella and the girls live up top. The in-laws watch the girls on Fridays and it’s clearly a family feel both in their home and down the street with Monte’s step-mother, Sherrill, who Monte considers “mom.” While Monte, and Luella, who works as a nursing retention coordinator at UVA, are at work, they are comforted knowing their girls are in good hands.
One of the big draws of their home, besides the family appeal, is a woodworking shop below the garage. It is the perfect place for the woodworking equipment Monte inherited from his dad, who too shared a love for the craft. Monte enjoys the quiet satisfaction that comes from shaping a piece of raw wood into something beautiful and useful, and also learning from his father-in-law, who is a more experienced woodworker. While he says he doesn’t have much time to devote to it, he enjoys the craft because it “gets your mind off what’s going on.”
Not only does he enjoy the meticulous nature of woodworking, he also enjoys camping, hiking and kayaking with his family. Plus, he enjoys running, having conquered a marathon in just over four hours for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a cause near and dear to his heart. Monte’s birth mom died of leukemia when he was 9 years old and his father died of cancer in 2014. Monte hopes to compete in another marathon and finish in under four hours. To help prepare, Monte and Luella rise before 5:30 most mornings to work out.
On his drive to and from Harrisonburg, Monte listens to murder mysteries and professional development books. He is looking forward to more travel, including a visit to Disney with his girls this fall and a visit with relatives in Homer, Alaska, soon.
He attended Eastern Mennonite University for his undergraduate degree and James Madison University for his master’s degree. Between his college sophomore and junior years, he lived and worked in Germany. He spent six months working on a beef cattle farm and six months with a church conference center. He also traveled for four weeks and on the weekends. While he doesn’t speak German anymore, he was conversational when he lived there.
Monte has two older brothers. Murray lives in DC and is a digital forensic and cybersecurity contractor with the government. Marshall lives in Chicago and works with software development for GrubHub.
Monte’s favorite thing about the accounting field is connecting with people. He has been with the Firm for nearly 11 years.