Dr. James  Monahan

Obituary of Dr. James Monahan

Dr. James L. Monahan Col. US Army (ret.)

Long-time Aptos resident Dr. James Monahan, Colonel, US Army (ret) and retired Director of Cabrillo College Dental Education Program passed away peacefully at his home this past week. A private burial will take place at San Joaquin National Cemetery. He will be interred with his beloved wife Pat, who proceeded him in death in 2005.


Jim was born in Norwood, Massachusetts on July 23, 1923. He and his wife Pat celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in June 2002. He served with the Army Dental Corps from 1946 through retirement in 1973, stationed in numerous stateside posts and overseas in Germany (where he met and married Pat), Japan and as Commander of U.S. Army Dental Services in the Republic of Vietnam during 1968—1969. For his service he was twice awarded the Legion of Merit and also the Army Commendation Medal. He also graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He graduated from Northwestern University School of Dentistry (DDS) and the UCLA Graduate School of Public Health (MPH).


He was a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association and the Monterey Bay Dental Society and was selected for membership in the International College of Dentists (Fellow). He was a silver life master with the American Contract Bridge League and served in various elected positions in the local unit.


His sixteen-year professional career at Cabrillo College capped a long career as an educator, including Director of Dental Education at the U.S. Army Medical Field Service School as well as adjunct Assistant Professor at Baylor University and the School of Dentistry, University of Pacific. Following his retirement he and his wife Pat, members of the Santa Cruz mineral and Gem Society, competed successfully at regional and national lapidary competitions. Together they were enthusiastic Airstream travel trailer adventurers, being original owners from 1966 to the present of a 22’ aluminum-airplane-style model, the Safari.


Jim volunteered for many years with Meals on Wheels and as a Long-term Care Ombudsman Advocate. His son Kevin and daughter-in-law Barbara and cat Mustasio survive him.


Any kind acts of charity can be made in his memory to the Cabrillo College Foundation.


James L. Monahan, DDS MPH FICD