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Victims of Montecito mudslides include couples, retirees, children

Laura J. Nelson and Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

The couple knew about the voluntary evacuation order but chose to stay at home to celebrate James' 89th birthday with a quiet dinner, their daughter Kelly Weimer told The Associated Press.

"They're an adorable couple, and they were in love with their house," Weimer said. "That's their forever home."

MARK MONTGOMERY AND CAROLINE MONTGOMERY

When orthopedic surgeon Mark Montgomery wasn't seeing patients, he loved to chat and joke with the nurses and scrub technicians at Associated Hand Surgeons in Santa Barbara. The office had three doctors, and the atmosphere was intimate, said Robert Ruth, who had worked with Montgomery since 2003.

"He was good at teasing the staff just a little bit, talking about the funny things that happened that day," Ruth said. "We're a small family, and everybody was very connected to him."

Montgomery, 54, cheered for the New York Yankees, and Ruth cheered for the Los Angeles Dodgers. "Come October, we'd have our little rivalries," Ruth said.

Montgomery lived for his three children, going to their water polo games and cheering the loudest from the stands, "even though he was a busy surgeon who was always on call," Ruth said.

Montgomery and his daughter Caroline were killed at home during Tuesday's storm. Montgomery's son, who was upstairs, sustained only minor injuries. His wife and eldest daughter were traveling.

Caroline Montgomery, 22, graduated from the Cate School in Carpinteria. She was a senior at Barnard College in New York, studying psychology.

In a letter to students, Barnard's dean said Montgomery played on the Columbia University women's water polo club team, had held internships in the fashion industry and contributed to the college's fashion magazine.

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