Ralph Monger, Jr. ’40

Ralph Monger, Jr. ’40, 94, a lifelong resident of Sanford, N.C., passed away peacefully on Dec. 7 with his wife, Vivian Oliver Monger, P.O. Box 4057, Sanford, NC 27331-4057, by his side. Monger lived his entire life on Summitt Avenue and married the girl next door, Vivian Oliver. With all of Monger’s life experiences and all the wonderful, exciting people he has known, including President John F. Kennedy, Adlai Stevenson, and U.S. Senators Sam Ervin and Robert Morgan, he always said that the most rewarding experience of his life was when he married his loving wife and lifelong sweetheart, Vivian. Monger was the proud son of Ralph Monger of Sanford and Hassie Lou Ponder of Mars Hill, N.C. In his spare time he helped in Monger’s Store, which was owned by his family, from the age of 12 until it was closed in 1939. Monger was elected president of North Carolina’s Young Democratic Club, where he was a very active member. Although he was too young to vote, he was very active in speaking with legislators about bills that employees wanted to pass. He worked with the young Democrats to get a bill passed to form the N.C. Employees Credit Union for the employees of the state. This remains a very successful bank for the employees of North Carolina and their families. He attended Presbyterian Junior College and after graduation from there he attended Davidson and became a member of the Phi Delta Tau fraternity. During his senior year he hosted the Midnight Dance Party for the radio station WBT in Charlotte, N.C., then catching the bus back to Davidson for his early morning classes. Monger was a devoted alumnus of Presbyterian Junior College and Davidson. It was during this time that he became a noted Democrat. His first elected position was as a reading clerk for the House of Representatives at 19 years of age-the youngest ever to be elected to the office. He was called “Mr. Democrat” because he said “I was born a Democrat and I will die a Democrat. And I will not miss a beat in between.” He held the reading clerk position for 10 sessions before he retired. He then took a position with the State of N.C. Department of Revenue as a collector for the eastern part of N.C. He later became the superintendent of Central N.C. Department of Revenue Tax Division, where he remained until his retirement. He was truly a great speaker and was asked to speak on the history of Sanford, Lee County, and First Presbyterian Church at many civic and club meetings. When Monger retired, he joined his wife as a manager of her family store, Oliver’s. There he stayed until they made the decision to sell Oliver’s and retire in December 1992. Monger did not miss many sports events, especially Carolina or Davidson, from 1950 until he became physically unable to in 2008. Monger and his wife were devoted members of First Presbyterian Church, where he held positions as deacon and superintendent of the Sunday school for 11 years. Monger was asked by his church to assist in organizing a new church called Morningside Presbyterian Church, where he implemented their Sunday school program for the young people. He was then elected an elder of this church, a position which he held for 31 years before becoming the clerk of the session. He also served as elder emeritus. He was very proud to say that there was not a position in the church that he had not served in. On Sept. 24, 1985, he was honored by the News & Observer, Raleigh’s daily newspaper, as the “Tarheel of the Week” with a dinner held in Raleigh. In his job he was stationed in Sanford, and in 1950 he was elected chairman of the Democratic Party for Lee County, where, for 27 years, he was to be sure every voter in the county voted and that Lee County did not vote Republican, and it never did. In 2002, the Lee County Democratic Party awarded Monger the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a member of the Sanford Rotary Club for 30 years, and served on the board of directors of Southern National Bank of N.C., the Board of Visitors of Davidson as a lifetime member, the Board of Trustees of Davidson for 12 years, the board of trustees of Greensboro College (his wife’s alma mater) for 10 years, the Board of Trustees of Sandhills Community College for 11 years, and the Board of Trustees of Central Carolina Community College. Memorials may be made to Davidson College, Box 7174, Davidson, NC 28035-7l74, for the Ralph and Vivian O. Monger Athletic Scholarship.