John McDermott Monaghan, Jr., 70, passed away November 12, 2022, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease. John was born May 14, 1952, in Fayetteville, N.C. to his loving parents Sara Weatherly Monaghan and John McDermott Monaghan, Sr. John dearly loved his hometown, where his father’s family lived for 150 years.
John was a proud graduate of Terry Sanford High School, Davidson College (Go Wildcats!), and earned a MPA from NCSU.
Beyond John’s academic and corporate successes, he was a loving husband to Cathy Constant Monaghan for 43 years. John was Dad to Katherine Monaghan Nisbet (husband Thomas), and Ann Clark Monaghan, and he was an outstanding “Daddy J” to Thomas Gluyas Nisbet IV (Ford) and John McDermott Nisbet (Mac), all of Raleigh.
John was a hands-on guy – a Mr. Fix It, and he was always there with his tools ready to work. He was a happy, dedicated family man, eager to lend a hand. His quiet, compassionate, witty persona helped John make and keep friends for a lifetime.
John’s professional career was long and varied with unique duties ranging from city government to downtown revitalization, and then the natural gas industry. He worked for the City of Fayetteville as Assistant City Manager, Downtown Revitalization Director, and as President of Fayetteville Progress. A career change took John to North Carolina Natural Gas, Carolina Power and Light, Progress Energy, and finally Piedmont Natural Gas, where he worked in governmental affairs until retirement.
He was passionate about figuring out how to make things in the world work better. This was true throughout his life − from restructuring how to best manage garbage pickup, to routing natural gas through a maze of pipelines from the Gulf of Mexico during a rare deep-south blizzard so that his beloved Tar Heel State’s residents could heat their homes and industries didn’t have to shut down.
John was a genuinely smart guy who loved a challenge. He was equally comfortable fishing with friends off the N.C. coast or on a drilling rig in the Gulf as he was giving a presentation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington D.C. Upon John’s early retirement from Piedmont Natural Gas, he was awarded membership in the Order of the Longleaf Pine, a high honor for North Carolinians.
Although he received numerous awards in his career, John was most proud to be called Dad and Daddy J. Daddy J enjoyed digging in the dirt and playing with trucks with his grand boys, paying homage to his own childhood passion. He was thrilled to spend time at the coast, in pursuit of his favorite seafood, or in the N.C. mountains with friends or family. From classical to New Orleans jazz to classic rock, John loved all music and never argued about the cost of concert tickets. He enjoyed travel, but anywhere in the Tar Heel State was always a top destination. John claimed to have played “the worst rounds of golf on the best courses” in the country. His dry wit and sense of humor got John through many sticky situations and endeared him to friends and coworkers alike.
Church was also an important element of John’s life. He was a spiritual man who loved sharing his faith. From leading youth group camping trips to his time serving the church vestry at St. Johns in Fayetteville, John was an ever-present source of strength and wisdom. When his career took him to Raleigh, the Monaghan’s found their home at Christ Church, where he again lent a hand whenever needed.
Our family wishes to thank the staff at The Cardinal at North Hills, for the love, patience, and daily care shown to John for the past 14 months of his residence there. They are truly angels without wings.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Christ Church, 120 East Edenton St., Raleigh, on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 2 p.m., with a reception following in the parish hall.
In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to one of John’s favorite organizations in his memory: Christ Episcopal Church, 120 E. Edenton St., Raleigh, NC 27601 (https://ccral.org/give/memorial-honorarium/); Cumberland County Foundation, 308 Green St., Fayetteville, NC 28301 (https://www.cumberlandcf.org/give/give-now.html); St. John’s Episcopal Church, 302 Green St., Fayetteville, NC 28301 (https://www.stjohnsnc.org); or St. Saviour’s Center, 616 Tucker St., Raleigh, NC 27603 (https://www.saintsaviourcenter.org/donate/).