Edgar T. Monk was born February 29, 1917 in Cowley Wyoming. His mother, Augusta Tietjen Monk died when he was 10 and he was sent to live with his paternal grandparents, devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was a cowboy on his grandfather’s ranch until 1937, when he became an elder in the Church and went on missions to Norway and the UK until his return in 1939.
He met and married Cledyth A. Marshall of Lovell, Wyoming in 1940. They were married for 48 years until her death in 1988. Mr. Monk volunteered for service in the Army early in 1942, but was honorably discharged just before his first child, Ferol Maxine was born. In the last years of the war, he worked in the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, CA.
Through the last of the 1940's and early 1950's he worked at many occupations including driving a taxi, store clerk, and shoe repairman.
In 1957 he was employed with Clearprint/Dietrich Post, a company that produced specialty papers for engineering firms. He joined the Printing Specialties Local 1, and became Shop Steward for the company's plants in Emeryville and in San Francisco and thus sat on both the San Francisco as well as the Alameda Central Labor Councils where a few people know of him today. The family moved from Oakland to Richmond in 1959 and Mr. Monk started work on the Santa Fe Neighborhood Council in 1961 and was its first President. Neighborhood Councils eventually became Model Cities and he served on this organization too.
In the late 1940's He and Cledyth joined the Consumers Co-operative of Berkeley. More than just a Co-operative grocery store, this group included many other services, including consumer education.
Edgar served on many elected positions in this co-operative. Perhaps it was experience at picking crops, or perhaps it was the co-op and his union background, but he became an advocate and activist with the United Farmworkers and proudly mentioned that he had dinner with Cesar Chavez at his house.
He participated in civil rights and peace marches through the 1960s and in 1977 he helped to form the Society for Soviet-American Friendship, which folded in 1991. Many cultural programs were held during these years.
After retirement in 1982, he pursued hobbies like painting and writing, and spent much of his time in senior concerns. He drove his own car to deliver Meals On Wheels in Contra Costa County, and was on the Board of the Contra Costa Senior Nutrition Project. In 2006 he was honored by Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin for "his over 3 decades of service to the City of Richmond". Edgar T Monk passed away in Oakland after a 3 month
illness. He is survived by a sister Louise Monk Birch of Idaho, his brother Benjamin Ronald of Colorado, Maxine Monk Wood and Pamela Monk Railsback of Texas, Edith Monk Hallberg of Berkeley, 6 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to the following:
Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa, Inc.
PO Box 3195
Martinez, CA 94553
UNITED FARM WORKERS Foundation
4545 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
US Friends of the Soviet People
P.O. Box 140434
Staten Island, NY 10314-0434