Patrick James Mon Pere, 87, Fresno’s “Purveyor to Gentlemen” Founder of Patrick James passed away peacefully at home on Monday, February 11, 2019.
Pat was born in Fresno on February 22, 1931, one of four children of Dr. John Vincent Mon Pere and Angela Erro Mon Pere, respected members of the Fresno Dental and Basque Communities. The Mon Pere family were parishioners of the Shrine of St. Therese where they attended elementary school and developed lifelong friendships. Pat later graduated from Fresno High School and went on to military service in the United States Army during the Korean War with his duty in Germany. For a time he followed in his father’s footsteps as an amateur Boxer with a mean right hook. Later in life his athletic activities were limited due to lingering back issues.
With the completion of his military service he returned to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in English and creative writing at Fresno State University. This education bode him well to articulate and communicate in his true life’s calling in Men’s Clothing. His ad copy for commercials and advertisements became classics! Time spent with Pat over libations guaranteed you a lively and entertaining conversation with his command of the English language.
Pat’s career spanned over 60 some years in Men’s Clothing, from working at Ralph Cross Men’s Wear and Coffee’s to his humble beginnings in one of the first leased stores in Fig Garden Village, in 1962. It was a small private label shop that sold Ivy League classic looks. Alongside his three sons and nephew, they are operating Patrick James, “West Coasts Classics” in a dozen locations in several states, an online presence, a national catalog and a Promotional business, helping out other retailers across the country. Pat is a legend in the trade and respected by his peers and the hundreds of former employees that he mentored and instilled in them his highest standards of customer service and work ethics. Many of the Patrick James “Alumni” have gone on to achieve great success in numerous careers as a result of Pat’s influence in their lives. His office was a well-worn path for those seeking his sage advice and counsel.
Pat loved spending time with his Grandkids and hearing about their daily activities. He was a lifelong and rabid fan of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers and his beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He loved reading and was never happier than when laying out in the sun by the pool reading a good book and listening to his teams on the radio.
Pat was the recipient of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce Harold Zinkin Entrepreneur of the year award and received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by MR Magazine for retailing Hall of Fame in New York City.
Pat’s business acumen led him to many opportunities outside of retailing. He was one of the original investors and board members of the Bank of Fresno, later with Valleywide Bank and finally with Westamerica Bank where he was a major stockholder. In the Fresno Community he served on the Fresno Planning Commission and was on the Board of Trustees at St. Agnes Hospital. During the time Fig Garden Shopping Center was owned by the Funch family Patrick’s participation in the merchants association in the monthly meetings is still remembered. Pat quietly supported many worthy causes in the community without any fanfare.
In addition to his parents Patrick was preceded in death by his sister Carol Mon Pere.
Patrick is survived by his wife Dorothy “Dodie” Mon Pere of Fresno. He is the father of Michelle Mon Pere of Woodside, Ca. Leslie Mon Pere, Terri Papagni, Clay Thomas and his wife Nikki , Patrick M. Mon Pere and his wife Susan, and Michael Mon Pere and his wife Erin all of Fresno. He is the brother of Dr. Gerald Mon Pere of Fresno and Thomas Mon Pere and his wife Gail of Sacramento. Patrick is the grandfather of 13 and great grandfather of 2.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, February 22, 2019 at 10 AM at the Shrine of St. Therese in Fresno, interment will be private at St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Remembrances suggested in lieu of flowers be sent to the Nazareth House, 2121 North First Street, Fresno, Ca. 93703 or to Catholic Charities, 149 North Fulton Street, Fresno, Ca. 93701.
The Nazareth House
2121 North 1st Street, Fresno CA 93703
149 North Fulton, Fresno CA 93701
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