Monahan was born April 22, 1924, in Birmingham, Ala. Due to his father’s job, the family moved frequently and arrived in the Los Angeles area in 1931. Eventually, the family settled permanently in San Diego in 1936.
Monahan graduated from San Diego’s St. Augustine High School in l941. He worked as a junior clerk at the San Diego Marine Construction Co. until he was drafted into the Army in March 1943.
During World War II, he served 20 months in the Pacific Theater in the Engineer Intelligence Section of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters. He was awarded the Bronze Star and was discharged when the war ended, with the rank of technical sergeant.
He entered the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 1946 and graduated magna cum laude in 1950.
Monahan married Gerry Cassutt in San Diego on Dec. 28, l949. They resided in South Bend, Ind. until May 1953, when they returned to San Diego.
While in South Bend he reported on high school sports for the South Bend Tribune from 1950 to 1953.
Meeting the late Jack Murphy, sports editor of the San Diego Union newspaper, at the 1952 USC-Notre Dame football game in South Bend eventually led to a job offer in San Diego in 1953, where he reported on high school sports. In June 1961, he became the Union’s boating columnist in San Diego.
Monahan moved to Sea Magazine in 1969, where he served as managing editor until 1985. While at Sea Magazine, he was a pool reporter for the yachting competition of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
The Southern California Marine Association (SCMA) said in a release that Monahan had been affiliated with SCMA for decades -- first as its marketing and advertising specialist, until he retired from that position in 1992. He continued to work for SCMA as a consultant until August 2008, overseeing SCMA’s legislative activities and writing “Government Watch,” a column that appeared regularly in the association’s newsletter.
After retiring from his full-time position with SCMA, Monahan and his wife, Gerry, were co-directors of Father Serra’s Food Pantry for Mission San Juan Capistrano for 16 years.
In 1956, Monahan was named “Man of the Year” by the Notre Dame Club of San Diego. He received the Alonso de Jessop Memorial Award from the San Diego Association of Yacht Clubs in 1966 and the Budweiser Award from the Unlimited Hydro division of the American Power Boat Association in 1968. The Alonso de Jessop Memorial Award, which is the association’s second highest award, is presented annually to members of the boating community who have performed extraordinary service to yachting.
David Johnson, a former deputy director of the California Department of Boating and Waterways, said that he had worked with Monahan for many years. “Harry was a great advocate for recreational boating, not only in Southern California but throughout the state,” Johnson recalled. “He was from the old school -- totally ethical and an amazing person to work with.”
Monahan is survived by Gerry, his wife of almost 62 years; four children: Terry (Jean) of San Marcos; Gary (Ann Marie), Peggy, and Maura of San Diego; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A Mass of the Resurrection was held at the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano Nov. 28. Interment was at Ascension Cemetery in Lake Forest, Dec. 9.
“The motto, which Harry lived by, ‘God, Country, Notre Dame,’ is inscribed on the urn containing his remains,” Gerry Monahan said. “It described his life.”