Dr. James (Jim) Mongé, 92, passed away peacefully Sunday, January 14, 2024, at Solvay Hospice House with his family by his side. He was born in Spring Valley, Illinois on October 15, 1931, the only child of James J. Mongé, Sr. and Marie Viner Mongé.
Jim grew up in Joliet, Illinois and graduated from Joliet Township High School. Moving north, he received a scholarship to attend the University of Chicago, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Another move north brought him to Northwestern University (Feinberg) School of Medicine, where he earned a Doctor of Medicine degree and completed an internship at Passavant Hospital.
Still heading north, he began a residency in General Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His residency was interrupted when he was drafted into the United States Air Force. He was stationed at Burtonwood Air Force Base in the United Kingdom, where he served as Acting Hospital Commander, delivered hundreds of babies and first heard about a then relatively unknown band called the Beatles.
Upon fulfillment of his military service, Jim returned to the Mayo Clinic to complete his residency and a fellowship in Thoracic Surgery. He was also awarded a Master's Degree in Surgical Pathology from the University of Minnesota.
In 1963, he made his final trip north, beginning a long career at the Duluth Clinic. Throughout his career, Jim loved medicine and was dedicated to surgical expertise and compassionate care of his patients. He enjoyed teaching and was an associate professor at the UMD Medical School.
After nearly 10 years in practice, he met Mary Ann Spang. They married in 1972 and enjoyed 51 years of love and adventures.
Following retirement, Jim continued to serve as a Locum Tenens surgeon in rural communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He and Mary Ann also became snowbirds, choosing to escape Duluth winters by doing medical missionary work in Cameroon, Kenya and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Jim was a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the Central Surgical Society, the Western Surgical Association, the Minnesota Medical Association, the Minnesota Surgical Society, the Duluth Surgical Society, the Mayo Alumni Association and the Mayo Priestley Society, and was on the Editorial Board of Minnesota Medicine magazine for many years. He served several terms on the Duluth Clinic Board and chaired the Board of St. Mary's Foundation.
His civic and religious interests included membership in Duluth Rotary Club 25, the Board of Trustees of the College of St. Scholastica, serving a term as Chair, and the Duluth Serra Club. He and Mary Ann are parishioners at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, Duluth, St. Joseph's Catholic Community, Grand Rapids, and Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago.
Jim loved and was very proud of his family. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann and their children and grandchildren: James J. Mongé III, his wife Stephanie and their children Claire and Kate; Matthew F. Mongé; Michael C. Mongé, his wife Alison and their children James, William, Elise and Juliettte; and Katherine S. Mongé.
Memorials preferred to the Spang-Mongé Surgical Fund at Essentia Health Foundation, 400 E. 3rd St., Duluth, MN 55805, or the James J. and Mary Ann S. Mongé Scholarship Fund at the College of St. Scholastica, 1200 Kenwood Ave., Duluth, MN 55811.
The family especially thanks in-home caregiver Trista Hendrickson, the Essentia Hospice team and the staff at Solvay Hospice House for their compassionate care of Jim and his family.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 E. 4th St. at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, January 27, 2024, with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m. Burial will be in the Itasca Cemetery, Grand Rapids, MN, at a later date.