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Mohon to receive honor for service at Lutcher Theater

By Dawn Burleigh

Pinehurst Mayor Dan Mohon recently won reelection as mayor and already has more to celebrate as the Lutcher Theater plans to honor him with recognition for 25 years of service on the Board of Directors.

“In 1995 the Lutcher Theater was fortunate to add a board member who would become the cheerleader for the Lutcher Staff for the next twenty-five years,” said Jim Clark, Lutcher Theater Managing Director, 1989-2017. “Board Members serve different purposes. Some scrutinize budgets, some seek financial report, some review shows on the audiences’ behalf and others offer tips on what shows they think the Lutcher audience would like to see.  Dan does all of those, but for the staff, it is his greeting, hugs, handshakes and reassurance that they were doing a great job that everyone looks forward to.”

Clark has one regret from his years at the theater.

“Now, my one regret in all the years I worked at the Lutcher, is that I never got to bring one of Dan’s favorite shows to the theater. Early on, Dan asked about “Manhattan Transfer”, and what was the possibility of getting them,” Clark said. “Each year I’d check with their agent, and check routing, but to no avail.  They’d tour to Galveston and I’d alert Dan, that they were going there.”

As much as Dan did for the community in many cases it was quietly behind the scenes without drawing attention to himself.

“With Dan’s help we did get great shows like “Patsy Cline”, “Maureen McGovern,” “Willie Nelson” and his assistance with the city to ensure the success of performances of “Symphony of SE Texas at Shangri La,” and many, many more,” Clark added. “Congratulations to Dan for Twenty-five years on the Lutcher Theater Board of Directors. Our success is due to his many contributions on the Board.”

In celebration of Dan Mohon, the Lutcher Theater will place a commemorative “Star” for Mohon on the Lutcher Theater Wall of Honor, located on the Second Floor Lobby. The Stark Foundation, the Lutcher Board of Directors and staff join patrons and the community in thanking Mohon for his unprecedented dedication and service to the Lutcher Theater and to the community for so many years. Dan and his wife have also been season ticket holders for many years.

“I’ve known and respected Dan Mohon for a long time. Our families were neighbors when I was growing up and we serve together at Trinity Baptist Church,” Lynae Sanford, Lutcher Theater Managing Director, 2017-Present, said. “But when I became the Managing Director at the Lutcher Theater, I came to appreciate Dan in a whole new way as we served on the Lutcher Theater Board of Directors. The epitome of a loyal and diligent ally, Mr. Mohon has now served on the Lutcher Board for 25 years! Always positive and supportive, Dan would always pop in to say hello to the staff on his way to a meeting. His dedication to the mission of the Lutcher Theater has always been evident, from faithful attendance at Board meetings, to spreading the word about our events throughout the community, to occupying seats as Season Ticket holders with his wife, Manon, year after year after year.”

He has been described as a positive force not just for his contributions to the theater but to Lions Club, Lamar State College Orange Foundation, Trinity Baptist Church, and Orange Savings Bank and even serving on two city councils.

Pinehurst Mayor Dan Mohon was named honoree of the Lions Club Charity Carnival in 2019.

Mohon has been a Lion for 45 years.

He has also served on the Lamar State College Orange Foundation Board of Directors for 20 plus years. During that period, he has served as treasurer and director.

“He was very instrumental in property acquisition for the foundation and with fundraisers. He was a great supporter of the school,” Phyllis Ford of Lamar State College Orange Foundation, said. “He was the type of person you always had something good to say bout. He was so willing to work and to so easy to work with.”

Not originally from Orange, his first exposure to Orange came as a young man while working for a pharmaceutical company.

“After my first visit, I called my wife to tell her about the progressive and friendly town of Orange,” Dan wrote in an article for Orange Living Magazine. “Little did I know that a few years later my family would move to Orange and remain 44 years. Orange has been a great place to own a business and make a living.”

Dan Mohon has made a huge impact in Orange since his arrival from the serving with different organizations, but also his governmental service.

He served on two different city councils. He was mayor of Orange from 1988-1992. He was appointed as Alderman for the City of Pinehurst on July 13, 2010 to fill the vacancy created upon the resignation of Alderwoman Bessie Huckaby.

He was first appointed Mayor Pro Tem by his fellow council members on May 28, 2013.  He held that honor until May 27, 2014.

He was once again appointed Mayor Pro Tem on May 17, 2016, a position that he held until his appointment as Mayor on October 8, 2019 upon the retirement of former Mayor Joseph L. “Pete” Runnels.

“After Dan purchased property in Pinehurst, they began building his house.  He would come to City Hall to pay his water bill.  I knew of him from living in the City of Orange and because his wife and my cousin taught school together,” Debbie Cormier, Pinehurst City Secretary, said. “Michele Andreu and I started harassing him every month when he came in.  We told him that he needed to run for City Council.  At first, he told us that he did not meet the residency requirement because he had not even moved into his house yet.  We counted the months and when the residency requirement was met, we started harassing him once again.  Apparently, we finally wore him down because he agreed to be appointed in 2010 and has served ever since.”

Staying committed, encouraging and positive are part of what makes Dan stand apart from others.

“I met Mayor Dan Mohon approximately three years ago by introduction and have been given the opportunity to work for him as City Administrator over the last five-months,” Jerry Hood, Interim Pinehurst City Administrator, said. “While speaking with him about the City Administrator position, I quickly noticed his love for people and his positive attitude. Through the Covid-19 pandemic, Hurricane Laura, and Hurricane Delta, Mayor Mohon has always projected a positive attitude. No matter what challenges arose for the City of Pinehurst; he remained Committed, Encouraged, and Positive.  It has been a true Blessing to have met and work for Mayor Mohon.”

It was Dan’s character which brought people to Pinehurst to work, live and play.

“I can remember my first interview with the City of Pinehurst to become their next City Administrator. I arrived at City Hall 15 minutes prior to my interview and was just relaxing in the foyer,” Robbie Hood, former Pinehurst City Administrator, said. “Then all of a sudden, the door opened a there stood Dan Mohon. We exchanged a few words and then he told me to follow him. I followed him to the conference room and he then told the hiring committee, ‘Look what I found hanging around in the front.’ Everyone, including me laughed. At that moment I knew this is where I wanted to be.”

Leaving Pinehurst was a bittersweet moment for Hood. He did not make the decision lightly and spoke with Mohon about it before deciding.

“The day I talked to him about the decision to become the City Manager for Vidor was one of the happiest and saddest days of my life,” Robbie said. “We both cried and laughed together. I think that much about Mayor Mohon and have always considered him a father figure to me. I love you Mayor Mohon and you have changed my life forever!”

Further reflection on Mohon’s character and impact on the community, he is a charter member of Trinity Baptist Church and prior to that he had a long history with First Baptist Church.

At Trinity Baptist, he has served as the Head of Finance and on the search committee for a new pastor three years ago.

“He is a founding member and has served as Deacon all 10 years,” Trinity Baptist Church Pastor C. Ryan Chandler said. “There is not one aspect of the church was he not involved in. He and his wife always signed up and showed up.”

Chandler describes Dan Mohon as pure class.

“Better than the world deserves, he and his wife both,” Chandler said. “I have met no better leader in a church setting than Dan Mohon. He knows the right thing to do and is brave enough to do it. I always admire that about him.”