John Engen, the longest-serving mayor of Missoula, died on Monday. He was 57 years old. The city officials announced the unfortunate news of his passing. Read on to know how did Mayor John Engen die and what was the cause of his death.
Engen was first elected as mayor in 2005. He stayed in the position until his untimely death being the longest-serving mayor of the city. Missoula City Council Chair Gwen Jones will be serving as acting mayor for the time being.
How did Missoula Mayor John Engen Die?
John Engen, the mayor of Missoula (a city in Montana), passed away at the age of 57 years. He died after battling Pancreatic Cancer. His untimely death was announced in a news release by city spokesperson Ginny Merriam.
He was “an amazing mayor who brought this town forward and turned into a city,” Interim Mayor Gwen Jones said. “The creative, beautiful Missoula that we all know and love.”
Montana lost a true public servant today. Mayor John Engen, the longest-serving mayor of Missoula, led the city with vision, grace, and humor.— Montana Democratic Party (@MTDems) August 15, 2022
We are deeply saddened to learn of his passing, and we send our condolences to his friends, his family, and his city. pic.twitter.com/QkqXqaNyOt
Other community, state, and national leaders have also mourned Engen’s passing. Missoula County Commissioners Juanita Vero, Josh Slotnick, and Dave Strohmaier said the following in a joint statement:
“Our hearts are heavy with the news of Mayor Engen’s passing. John was our colleague in leading this community, but more importantly, he was our friend. He led Missoula with kindness, compassion, and humor. Everything he did, every decision he made, was in the interest of making his hometown a better place. We will miss him dearly.”
John Engen’s Cause of Death: Pancreatic Cancer
The late mayor of Missoula, John Engen, was suffering from pancreatic cancer and had a tumor on his liver. He was diagnosed with the disease in March after winning his fifth term in November last year.
After announcing his cancer diagnosis, Engen said that he had “high hopes that treatment will extend my life so I can continue the service I love among talented, committed colleagues and the community. I’ve got a long list and hope to make my way through it.”
Unfortunately, the politician passed away this Monday as his body couldn’t fight against the cancer cells anymore.
John Engen became Mayor after turning into a Politician from Journalist
John Engen was born in Missoula in 1964. He is a graduate of the University of Montana earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. He started his career as a journalist and reporter before turning into a politician.
He became a member of the Missoula City Council in 2001 and served for four years before being elected mayor in 2005. Engen stayed on the seat till his death. He won his fifth term in November last year with 62% of the votes in a campaign focused on the city’s affordable housing and homlessness challenge.
In late June, Engen presented a 2023 budget proposal with an anticipated 12% tax increase to help meet inflationary increases and pay for programs that had been funded with federal COVID assistance that is unavailable now.
Engen was also known to endorse former President Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election campaign. In October 2016, he took a month off work to enter a rehabilitation program for alcohol addiction.
John Engen is survived by his wife Tracy Engen. She owns and operates a travel agency in Missoula.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and loved ones. May God let the departed soul rest in peace.