Gerald John Manatt, Jr., age 65, of Lakewood Ranch, Florida, formerly of Victor and Brooklyn, died on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, at the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City. Visitation will be held at the Michael J Manatt Center downtown Brooklyn, Iowa, Sunday, October 2nd from 3:00-8:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Brooklyn at 10:30 a.m. Monday, October 3rd, with Fr. Corey Close officiating. The burial service will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Brooklyn. A luncheon will follow at the Michael J Manatt Center. A memorial fund has been established and will be donated to a variety of causes dear to John's heart in the near future.
John was the first born of Gerald John Manatt Sr. (Junie) and Doris (Hawkins) Manatt at St. Francis Hospital in Grinnell, Iowa on November 21, 1950. He was raised in Brooklyn where he attended and graduated from Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School in 1969. John grew up a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Brooklyn, where he was confirmed.
Following high school, John attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa where he met his life-long love Marlene Odell. John was united in marriage with Marlene on December 4, 1971 at Nativity Catholic Church in Dubuque. John graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration in 1973 and moved back to Brooklyn where the couple raised their four children.
John started working full time at Manatts, Inc. for his father in 1972 (employee #12) and worked until retirement in 2006. John did it all through his years at Manatts from sweeping floors, to driving cement tankers and concrete trucks, to running concrete plants, to heading up ready mix division and eventually owning the company with his brother and cousins. Through his work in the industry, John was active in the Iowa Ready Mix Concrete Association promoting and bettering the industry. He enjoyed annual conventions and social gatherings with colleagues, was President of IRMCA in 1982 and was inducted as an honorary member 2009.
Most important to John were his faith and family. He was a very humble, kind and brave man. John attended the St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Victor and Lady of the Angel’s Catholic Church in Lakewood Ranch, FL. He enjoyed traveling and spending time with friends. Attending Jeep Jamborees, golfing, fishing, camping, attending the Iowa State Fair and watching old movies, especially John Wayne movies, were among the many hobbies he enjoyed. He also followed all of his grandchildren’s sporting, spiritual and academic adventures with loving encouragement.
In 2010, John and Marlene moved to Lakewood Ranch where they eagerly welcomed friends and family to visit them often. John loved the Florida climate, living on the golf course and showing others a great time in Florida. He even took up dancing with Marlene and occasionally could be found on a beach.
John is survived by his wife of 44 years, Marlene; his four children, Jennifer (Ken) Cline of Brooklyn, IA, Chris Manatt of Cedar Falls, IA, Joy (Gabe) VanLandschoot of Brooklyn, IA and Jonathan (Samantha) Manatt of Lynnville, IA; thirteen grandchildren, McKenna, Madison and Maycee Cline, Kinzie and Kylie Manatt, Karissa and Ty Heishman, David, Abbee and Vaughn VanLandschoot and Sadie, Jasper and Langlee Manatt; and five siblings, Debi Olson, Grinnell, Tim (Genevieve) Manatt, Cedar Falls, Melia (Steve) Rhoads, Brooklyn, Mary Jo (Jeff) Thompson, Brooklyn, and Mindy (Raymond) Holder, Brooklyn.
John was preceded in death by his grandparents, many loved aunts and uncles, his mother and father-in-law, Corbly and Juanita Odell, his parents, Junie and Doris Manatt and brothers-in-law Bill Olson and Jerry Hamberg.