Philip V. Monnin, 82, of New Bremen, passed away on November 14, 2021 after a three-year battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
He was born December 9, 1938, in Russia, Ohio to the late Adrian and Ermal Monnin. On June 17, 1958, he married Doris Gigandet at Holy Family Church in Frenchtown, and she survives.
He is also survived by his five children and their spouses, Philip (Shari) Monnin of Rochester, Michigan, Julie (Jim) Niekamp of St. Henry, Dr. Jeff (Beth) Monnin of Minster, Mike (Teresa) Monnin of Mason, and Krista (Dennis) Cisco of Anna; grandchildren Jason Monnin, Sheena Monnin, Mariah Schmitz, Philip Niekamp, Kate Hemmelgarn, Sarah Knapke, Paul Niekamp, Alex Monnin, Kara Monnin, Alisha Monnin, Ethan Monnin, Rachel Monnin, Liz Monnin, Jacqui Cisco, Ally Cisco; great-grandchildren Henry and Whit Monnin, Oliver, Graham, and Cora Schmitz, Robert Cisco-Homan, and Scarlett Weber; in-laws Dick and Pat Gigandet, Carl and Sue Gigandet, Shirley Schmidt, Diane Rambler, and Ralph Gigandet Jr.
In addition to his parents, Phil was preceded in death by a sister and brother-in-law, Arabella and William Krites, sister-in-law, Jan Gigandet, and brother-in-law, Tim Schmidt.
Phil was a graduate of Russia High School and General Motors Institute, where he earned his engineering degree. After a career start at Ford Motor Company, he designed the shock absorber on the original ’65 Mustang, earning the first of his five patents. He also attained a master’s degree from Wayne State University.
Phil worked at Minster Machine for almost 20 years, then left to follow his passion, eventually becoming responsible for three robotic start-up companies: GMFanuc in Michigan, Adept Technology in California, and Motoman in Troy, Ohio. He was the President and CEO of Motoman, and then became President and COO of Yaskawa Electric in Chicago. Phil was also the President of Signature 4, based in Celina. In 1999, Phil was honored to receive the Engelberger Medal for robotic industry leadership. More recently, he was the founder of Visionary Partners, and co-founder of both Revolutionary Machines and RevWire.
Phil was instrumental as a Minster School Board President and Booster Club Officer during the construction and planning for the original Minster Memorial Field and weight training facility. He was also co-designer of the Minster Machine Centennial Park gazebo. Phil was named Minster Athletic Booster of the Year in 2019.
Phil will be remembered as a fun-loving and generous friend and mentor to his colleagues, as well as a loving husband, dad, and wonderful grandpa.
The family would like to give special thanks to the staff at Elmwood-New Bremen where he was a resident for the past three years. Also, a big thank you to Jane Steineman and Grand Lake Hospice for treating Phil like family.
He was a member of the Church of the Holy Redeemer in New Bremen. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Tuesday November 23, 2021 at 10:30 AM the at the Holy Redeemer Church. Private family inurnment will follow in the St. Augustine Cemetery, Minster.
Family and friends will be received from 1:00 until 5:00 PM, on Sunday November 21, 2021 at the Gilberg-Hartwig Funeral Home in New Bremen. Visitation prior to the funeral mass will be held from 9-10 AM at the church on Tuesday.
In lieu of gifts, memorial contributions in Phil’s honor may be directed to Grand Lake Hospice or Minster Athletic Booster Club. Condolences may be expressed at www.gilberghartwigfh.com.
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Denny Lovett saysNovember 14, 2021 at 9:33 pm
I am so sorry to hear of your father’s passing. He was very respected within the automation world. He was a pioneer in the development of robot expansion with the courage to do it his way. His legacy will live on.
My sincerest sympathy to & your family in your time of grief.
Steve and Marty Baker saysNovember 15, 2021 at 11:29 am
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Monnin family. We were blessed that our paths crossed with Phil’s many times throughout the years. He was always kind and professional.
A Urda saysNovember 15, 2021 at 2:23 pm
Very sorry to hear of Phil’s passing and I would like to share my deepest sympathies for the Monnin family, friends and past colleagues.
Phil was a force in Factory Automation and helped bring Industrial Robotics to the mainstream.
I worked with him during his Yaskawa days in Illinois.
Andrew M. Urda
Pat Osler saysNovember 15, 2021 at 6:59 pm
My condolences to Phil’s family. I had the pleasure of working for Phil in the start-up phase of MotoMan. His energy and enthusiasm, charisma and leadership were major factors in the success of that start-up. He was a pleasure to work with and beloved by all.
Steve Gigandet saysNovember 15, 2021 at 8:23 pm
I’m very sorry and sad to hear of Uncle Phil’s passing! I will forever remember how Phil always had a smile on his face especially whenever he had a chance to snatch a loose tooth out one of us kids mouths. He will be missed and my heart goes out to his family and friends!
Gary Pope saysNovember 15, 2021 at 8:47 pm
My sympathies to the entire Monnin family. Phil was one of the most people oriented leaders I have ever worked for in my career. He was able to get more out of his people at Motoman with no questions asked other than what more do you need done. I will be out of the area, but you all will be in my thoughts as Phil is laid to rest.
Elmore (Bud) Ross saysNovember 17, 2021 at 7:55 am
God Bless You Phil!
You were a giant in the robotic business and wonderful friend!
NANCY D SUBLER saysNovember 17, 2021 at 10:25 am
To The Monnin Family,
My sincere sympathies to all of you. There are some people who one never forgets. Phil was that person. I started working for Minster Machine in 1971 in the Sales Department. Phil would stop at my desk and say hello. I remember his smile and how kind he was. I wasn’t at Minster Machine long as I decided to leave MM to work with my Dad at the family business, St. Henry Tile Co., Inc. But I have never forgotten him. Praying for comfort in your loss and strength when the days are long. Sincerely, Nancy Homan Subler
Mike Westerheide saysNovember 17, 2021 at 12:51 pm
Phil was a “Doer” and a good friend for many years.
It was a privilege to know him.
R.I.P. my friend.
Steve Ross saysNovember 17, 2021 at 9:20 pm
Phil Monnin was a mentor and one of the finest men I have ever had the honor and privilege to know and work with. He was an absolute genius, a realist, and someone you could count on and call your friend. His sense of humor was always present but his seriousness, drive, and determination were contagious to all who knew him!! My condolences to the family, Phil will be missed! GOD Bless you, and rest in peace, my friend!!
Carolyn(Monnin) Mescher saysNovember 18, 2021 at 10:13 am
Condolences to Phil’s family. He was very special to many people. I went to school with his aunt Ma Donna and rode the same school bus as he did. He was always fun to be around. May he rest in peace and may all of be comforted by Jesus and the saints who have gained a wonderful soul.
Vicki Knasel saysNovember 18, 2021 at 11:24 am
Jeff, Beth, and family,
What a beautiful tribute to your father. Please accept my deepest sympathy.
Cherish the memories and celebrate a life well- lived.
Love and prayers
Marlene and Zeke Tebbe saysNovember 18, 2021 at 12:58 pm
Please accept our sympathy. Lots of good memories as your neighbor. Zeke and Marlene Tebbe
William Higgins saysNovember 30, 2021 at 11:19 am
I will always have fond memories of Phil. He was one of the few true leaders I encountered in my career. He always inspired; he always demanded your best performance; he was always fun to work for; and he was a true friend. My condolences to all of his family. I am so sorry that I was ill and unable to attend his services.
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