James “Jim” Harold Mong was born August 31st, 1946 in Blue Ridge, Georgia and died on March 8th, 2021 at his home in Columbiana, Ohio. He was a graduate of East Palestine High School and attended The Ohio State University before transferring to Pittsburgh School of Mortuary Science. Jim served his apprenticeship at Warrick Funeral Home in Columbiana. While working at Warrick’s in 1967 he met his future wife, Janet Gregg, who lived next door. They married on his birthday in 1968. Jim and Janet moved to Cleveland where he worked for Corrigan Funeral Homes from 1968 until moving to North Lima in 1971. He worked alongside George Seederly and later Mark Beck, operating Seederly-Mong & Beck Funeral Homes until his retirement in 1998.
Jim enjoyed volunteering and was an active member of the community by serving in Columbiana Jaycee’s, Beaver Township Ruritan, and South Range Booster Club. Jim coached little league baseball for many years and enjoyed mentoring the boys that played for him into their adulthood. He enjoyed hearing from those now grown men as they stopped by his shop to visit and tell of their own families and life experiences. Jim and Janet hosted thousands of friends and community members at their lake and picnic area, beside their home on Route 14 in Columbiana. Jim crafted a zip-line and large dock with a diving board for all kids to enjoy. Jim donated his time and talents as a builder and heavy machine operator to South Range High School when the football field was replaced in 1988, installation of a new playground at the South Range Elementary School in North Lima in the early 80’s, and helping members of the community with the construction of wheelchair ramps, stairs, and other projects. After retiring, Jim volunteered to drive a box truck to Chinle, Arizona for the Cooper High School Student Council (Abilene, Texas), where his brother-in-law, Gail Gregg was the principal. He worked alongside the Student Council students providing food, grain for animals, and basic supplies on the Navajo Reservation. Jim also worked with The Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team to help those impacted by hurricane and tornado disasters. He organized two community donation drives for clothing, water, and non-perishables and delivered them by semi-truck to areas struck by Hurricane Katrina and later to New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy. He helped in Alabama after a tornado devastated the area, using his organizational skills and manual labor to clear debris and help the rebuilding process. Following a series of tornadoes in Vilonia, Arkansas, Jim again traveled south to clear trees and brush with his chainsaw and skid-steer and offered comfort to those who had lost everything. Jim was a patriot and respected the flag and the freedom it represented.
Jim’s hobbies were varied and reflective of his many interests. He had his private pilot’s license and enjoyed solo recreational flying and flying with his wife and children. He passed on this love of flying to his son, Dan, who later became a commercial airline pilot. Jim bought his first riding horse when he was 14 and continued to stable and ride horses into adulthood. He operated a horse and carriage service with his favorite Clydesdale and Percheron horses at Station Square in Pittsburgh. He also provided carriage service for many weddings, private events, and Christmas parades, often bringing Santa Claus to town. Jim restored old cars, including Corvettes, and also collected older semi-trucks. His favorite trucks were the Mack LJ and Mack B-61 similar to what his father drove in his trucking career. Over the last ten years, Jim concentrated his creative energies into woodworking. He turned pens and made other creative wooden gifts for family and friends. For his three grandchildren he crafted elaborate wooden farms complete with barns, fencing, tractors, hay bales, and farming implements as well as other wooden keepsakes for his great nephews and nieces.
Jim was a family man and never missed his children’s many year-round ballgames and school activities. He played catch and hit balls for infield practice, rebounded free throws, played many games of h-o-r-s-e, and threw long football passes. He rode bikes and took his family on canoe trips to Cooks’ Forest. In the fall, he enjoyed treating friends and family to hayrides with cider, donuts, and a bonfire afterward. On Sunday afternoons in the summer, Jim took the family and his children’s friends to the Ohio River to waterski and tube. He and Janet enjoyed traveling across the United States with his in-laws, Guy and Jean Gregg, in their respective motorhomes as well as cruises and trips to Australia, the Mediterranean, and Central and South America, and the Panama Canal. He and Janet made numerous trips to Georgia and Arkansas to attend their grandchildren’s births, sporting events, birthday parties, and Grandparents’ Days. Jim’s greatest joy was being with his wife, Janet. They shared a close bond as they worked together in their business, designed and built a home together, traveled, and supported each other through illness and the heartbreak of losing family and loved ones over the years. He and Janet enjoyed Saturday night peanut buster parfaits, watching old movies and Ohio State Football games, and working on puzzles together in the evenings.
He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Mong, mother, Lela Mong Covert, and sister, Brenda Mong Dolan. He is survived by his loving wife, Janet Gregg Mong, two children, Daniel Mong (Kandis) of Moreland, Georgia and Angie Mong Haustein (Hans) of North Little Rock, Arkansas and three grandchildren, Reagan and Brody Mong and Paul Haustein. He also leaves behind four siblings, Joseph Mong of Salem, Ohio, Ken Mong of St Augustine, Florida, Linda Edwards (Dave) of Kenley, North Carolina, and Sam Mong (Kim) of Salem, Ohio, and 22 nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and great-nephews.
The family also expresses their sincere appreciation to Merle Ford, Jim’s “right hand man,” Brittany Shannon, and Belinda Bowles, for their care and friendship.
The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 at the Columbiana Church of Christ on Friday March 12th. There will be a private funeral service on Saturday with burial to follow at Columbiana Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that material tributes may be made to The Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team, 9285 S. State Route 202, Tipp City, Ohio 45371
Due to Covid 19, social distancing and mask protocol will be observed. Arrangements were made by the Warrick-Kummer-Rettig Funeral Home, Columbiana. Sign the register and send condolences at www.familycareservices.com