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John was 47 years old, our oldest brother. He grew up in Jersey City in the midst of a large family and attended St. Paul’s grammar school. John was an altar boy and spent many of his childhood days paying basketball in the courtyard, where he cultivated a circle of friends who have remained close throughout the years. John and my other brothers often reminisced about the “courtyard days”, recalling not only the basketball games but also my mother’s unexpected personal appearances. (I think she broke up a few card games!) With many of his friends, he attended Hudson Catholic High School. After graduating in 1972, John went to work for Banker’s Trust in Jersey City, where he later met his wife, Diane.
John and Diane married in St. Henry’s Church in October of 1991. They lived in Bayonne for several years where they planned and saved for the future. In 1993 John joined the firm of Cantor Fitzgerald. Shortly after, they began to realize their dreams. The purchase of their new home in Ocean Township was followed quickly by the birth of their first son, Terrence, who will be 6 in November. Terrence is the image of John and possesses many “Monahan” traits, so we’re hoping for Diane’s sake that her second son, CJ (age 3), turns out to be a Kracov (Diane’s maiden name). John called the kids “his buddies”. They were planning a trip to Florida to celebrate their upcoming 10th anniversary.
John was a humble and unassuming person. He didn’t wear expensive clothes or own a fancy car. In fact, he preferred not to drive at all. He had little interest in material possession, beyond the basic necessities (which definitely included a golf club and a football). John was the quiet, serious one in the group. He paid attention to every detail and followed all the rules, even when it came to playing a family game of Jeopardy. He always insisted that we play by the official rules. Anyone who broke a rule was immediately disqualified. And so, we affectionately called him “The Commissioner” and unanimously elected him to preside over family activities.
John was an avid golfer and a loyal Jet fan. John was completely devoted to Diane, Terrence and CJ. Above all, he cherished the time he spent with his family, be it a holiday celebration, one of the kid’s birthday parties, a family ski trip, a picnic at the track or just a swim in the pool. Last month, John, along with other family members, flew to New Mexico to attend Corey’s wedding (Corey is John’s godson). John and Diane were coordinating a Monahan family trip to Disney for the fall of next year. On September 11th, one minute after the first plane struck the World Trade Center, John called Diane. He said, “There is a fire in the building. I love you and the boys. I don’t think I’m going to make it out.” I think Diane put it best in her remarks to a reporter from the Asbury Park Press when she said, “He was everything to us and we were everything to him.” Needless to say, there are no words to describe how much we will miss him.