Jim Monahan, Parliamentarian Extraordinaire

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Jim Monahan at the Area 33 Contest
on March 14, 2013

Like other District 25 Governors in past years, I benefitted from the expertise, service, and dedication of Parliamentarian extraordinaire Jim Monahan. Jim had retired as D25 Parliamentarian at the end of my predecessor’s term, and at his recommendation, I asked his protégé Leonard Malley to serve during my year. When Leonard’s health prevented his helping in the Spring District Council meeting, Jim agreed to assist once more. Jim reviewed the agenda and script for the meeting and walked me through the procedures we would use. Having Jim at my side, I was confident in presiding over elections and other business, and everything went flawlessly. 

But it was after that when I really got to know Jim. He offered to set up training sessions for those who might serve the district, as he knew that others would one day be needed to fill the gap. I was excited about the opportunity to learn from the Texas State Association of Parliamentarians “2012 Parliamentarian of the Year.” This fall Jim taught a class for several of us who were interested in learning about this esoteric topic. We met at his home in Grand Prairie for ten Thursday nights, and Jim made sure that we learned all he could squeeze into these two and three hour sessions. Jim and Grace’s hospitality was so gracious, and they made us welcome around their kitchen table as we delved into the material. Our class was in awe of the depth of his knowledge, his concern for all of us, and his willingness to continue our classes in spite of his increasing health issues. Jim was weakening before our eyes as his body began to succumb to congestive heart failure. We were devastated when Jim told us he would be facing imminent death if he were unable to have a procedure to install a heart pump. 
Despite Jim’s advancing illness, he and Grace still hosted their annual Christmas meeting of the DFW Parliamentarians, a club Jim established and mentored. Jim was very proud of his beautiful display of his Christmas village, which he set up every year. Our class was privileged to attend the party, and continuing Jim and Grace’s tradition, each attendee took home a Christmas ornament as a memento of the occasion.
Our class’s last meeting was on the Thursday before Christmas. Jim felt that we were ready for the test at last. We ended the meeting with pictures of Jim and our class in front of the Christmas tree. On the Saturday after Christmas, Jim entered the hospital for his final illness. When I spoke to him for the last time, he was concerned about our test. Of course, I told him not to worry about us, just to worry about taking care of himself and Grace. Sadly, Jim was unable to have the procedure that would have prolonged his life. Grace fell and broke her hip while Jim was in the hospital, so she was unable to be with him continually during his final illness. Their son-in-law set up a Skype session for them, and Grace was also able to see him at the hospital once before his death. They were such a devoted, loving couple, so supportive of each other. Being in their home, learning from Jim, and getting to know these two wonderful people was such a pleasure. 
Parliamentarian Class
Our class will take our National Association of Parliamentarians test on January 14. We hope to make Jim proud of us as we earn our certification as parliamentarians. Jim, thank you for your generosity of spirit, sharing your gift of knowledge and your home with our class. As we use and share the great gift of knowledge we received from you, we will remember the lessons of courage, concern, and dedication you quietly modeled for us. 
We will never forget you.
Bonne Stroman, DTM
Immediate Past District Governor, 2013-2014