M.J. Menge was one of those invaluable members of a community who never seemed to say no when asked to take on responsibility. Service was his gift to the Pensacola Bay Area, and he didn't stop serving until the cancer that brought him down finally prevented it.
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... Mr. Menge never sought the spotlight. He was just as likely to work quietly, behind the scenes, to bring about a needed change or find a solution to a problem that would only get worse unless dealt with.

Because he took sides on issues, there is no question that Mr. Menge often found himself at odds with other people. But agree with him or disagree, you knew that Mr. Menge stood where he did because he believed it was best.

That in part explains the wide respect Mr. Menge earned from so many people.

He also understood that solving community issues took compromise. Maybe that was his training as a lawyer. But he knew that when people of good will disagreed on an issue, finding a solution they could all support was more important than insisting on the singularity of his own vision.
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[H]e was about doing the right thing, and doing it in a way that worked.

That he so often found himself at the center of this community's most contentious problems says so much about a man who found himself naturally drawn to service.

That others were drawn so strongly to him says even more.