FARMINGTON — Born in Rome, Italy, in 1949, to his father, Raymond, an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, and his mother, Mildred, a teacher, Mike was the second oldest of what would become six siblings in the Monahan family.

His childhood was spent moving around for his father’s work, spending time in Rome, Virginia and Somalia. Mike returned to the states to attend college at UVA, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering. Turning down a lucrative job at a shipyard in Newport News, Mike opted to spend some time in Maine, working at a summer adventure camp and then later at the Ski Dorm in Kingfield, where he met and fell in love with another young hippie running away to a quieter place — Mary Darby Babson. Though later divorced, they would raise three successful and independent children together.

Mike, himself a naturally gifted artist, soon connected with local artist Howard Smith to co-edit the local newspaper, The Irregular. Together they also drafted local dining guides to the area to help fuel the tourist economy. Shortly later, Mike started selling hand-painted signs off his front porch and then opened a small sign shop in the old train station in Kingfield and called it Signworks. Initially specializing in hand-painted signs to local shops, over the next 35 years the business grew into a successful regional small business, creating custom artistic signs throughout Maine and beyond.

In 1988, Mike sobered up after struggling with alcoholism in his younger life. The recovery community would become a big part of the remainder of Mike’s life, and Mike in turn highly influenced the recovery community in Western Maine. His personal and spiritual musings would act as inspiration for the many he helped sponsor through AA. Also at this time, Mike delved deeper into his spiritual journey in life. Finding resonance in Sufism and Mysticism, Mike also found inspiration in the Dances of Universal Peace. Combining dances from world religions including Islam, Judaism and Christianity — Mike would combine his skill as a musician and a gregarious personality to become an instructor for the dances throughout Maine.

As his children were getting older, Mike moved to Farmington and continued to grow his business, to practice his artistic and musical abilities, and broaden and deepen his spiritual journey and understanding of the universe. He also took up pickleball.

However, for all of the diverse hobbies, interests and skills that Mike had, he had one true passion — his role as father. As he always said: “My days with my kids are my best days.” And with each child, Mike left a unique gift. Sam, his oldest, shared his father’s natural skill for music and artistry. Luke, the middle child, shares his father’s sharp, questioning mind. Anne, his youngest, shared her father’s magnetic and kinetic energy.

Mike is survived by his mother, Mildred Monahan; by four of his siblings, Roberta Monahan, Connie Monahan, Andrew Monahan and David Monahan; his three children, Sam, Luke and Anne Monahan; his two daughters-in-law, Shannon Monahan and Grace Wright; his soon-to-be son-in-law, Alex Gilbert; his three grandchildren, Riley and Liam Monahan and Maxwell Monahan-Wright; as well as countless friends, teachers and students.

Condolences and tributes may be shared on his memorial wall as well as a video tribute at www.wilesrc.com.

Michael Monahan

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