1952 - 2005
Rear Step: Bob, Elizabeth, Dave
Middle Step: Ryan, Nik, Kyle
Front Step: Conor
By Hank Hryniewicz
On April 23, 2005, Brookline Youth Hockey lost one of its pillars when Bob Monahan succumbed to his battle against cancer after a courageous fight.
Those involved with Brookline Youth Hockey for years knew Bob and all that he meant to the program. But for many of the newer members of the BYH community, he was the invisible guardian angel of the town's hockey program. His work as president and treasurer took a great deal of time, dedication, and passion, yet went unnoticed by many because of Bob's insistence that the kids come first and the adults remain in the background.
Bob had no desire to be recognized for accepting all of the responsibilities of the program. He initially got involved, like many parents, because of his own children. His five sons — Ryan, David, Nikolaus, Kyle, and Conor — all played hockey in the BYH program. While his daughter Elizabeth did not play hockey, she certainly learned early on how much passion her father had for the sport and how much commitment he had to the children he welcomed with open arms into the program each season.
What set Bob apart was the longevity of his dedication to BYH. He remained involved in the operation and development of the program long after the youngest ones in his brood had hung up their BYH sweaters for the last time. He loved the sport and he loved the children in the program. The program and all of its players were the beneficiaries of Bob's labor of love.
He'd spend hours at rinks watching Brookline teams compete in everything from cross-ice games at the instructional level to travel games at the A level.
Bob coached for years, but he was much more than a man with a whistle around his neck. Bob was treasurer for years, but he was much more than a man with a checkbook and a calculator. Bob was president for years, but he was much more than a man who attended district meetings. Bob Monahan was Brookline Youth Hockey for the past 25 years.
He and Ed Kirrane steered the program on a steady course and maintained an operation that has served the youth of the town well through the years. He not only made sure the program stayed afloat, but he made sure all children in the program were treated fairly and put into an environment where they could grow as players and develop friendships that would last long after the ice had melted. Perhaps most importantly, he made sure they enjoyed their experiences in the program.
Brookline Youth Hockey continues to honor Bob and his memory. As a sign of our respect and in recognition of all that he stood for, the program will issue Bob stickers for players at all levels to display on their helmets as a tribute to this great man. Without Bob Monahan leading the way, the friendly Brookline Youth Hockey program would not be here for the youth of Brookline. All players, coaches, and parents ever associated with the program owe their positive experiences to the hard work and enthusiasm of Bob Monahan. The memory of that enthusiasm still pumps the lifeblood through the organization to this day.