MISSOULA — John Engen, the mayor of Missoula, has passed away.
Missoula City Council president Gwen Jones tells MTN News that he died on the morning of Monday, August 15, 2022.
It was announced in March that Engen would be undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Engen was elected as mayor in 2006 and was serving his fifth term in office. He was Missoula's 50th and longest-serving mayor.
Born in Missoula in 1964, Engen attended Willard Grade School, Hellgate High School, and the University of Montana.
He worked in print journalism, was a partner in two small businesses, and served a term as a Missoula City Council member before being elected mayor for the first time in 2005.
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(MARCH 8, 2022) John Engen, the mayor of Missoula, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and will begin treatment after consultation with an oncologist next week.
Engen has been experiencing fatigue and abdominal pain for several months. An MRI last Wednesday followed by a biopsy confirmed that he has adenocarcinoma on his pancreas as well as a cancerous tumor on his liver, according to a news release.
“This is not the health news anyone wants to receive,” Engen said, “but I suffer from optimism and have 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.”
“I’m being very public about this personal news because I may have to step back occasionally from some optional duties that I’ve enjoyed over the years,” Engen said, “and my full calendar of appointments may get rearranged depending on treatment and my strength.”
“I want folks to know I’m still very much at the helm, but if I am incapacitated and no longer able to meet the obligations of this job, I’ll step down," Engen continued.
A news release states that doctors “have not determined a prognosis” and there are currently no details of the mayor’s treatment plan.