Jack Gordon Mann was born on February 11, 1934 in Haxtun, CO to Seymour and Della (McIntyre) Mann. The family soon moved from Haxtun to Columbus, Nebraska, and both Jack and his brother, Robert (born 1943), grew up in Columbus. When Jack graduated from Columbus High School in 1952, he worked with his Dad, who had a carpentry business. For fun, he and some friends joined the local car racing circuit and won a few trophies!
Jack joined the Army 1954 and spent two years at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, NY working as an artillery machinist. Following his military service, Jack learned how to build houses from his father and he built several houses in Columbus.
Jack was accepted into the Nebraska State Patrol in 1962 and married Edith Carson Mentzer in Columbus in 1963 (their Mothers, who were in the Rebekahs together, introduced them). Jack, Edith and her 4 yr old daughter, Lesley, moved “home” to Ogallala and Gary was born in 1964. Jack started taking flying lessons and received his pilot’s license in 1969. He also used his house building skills one more time in Ogallala and his family lived in the house that Jack built. Receiving promotions in the State Patrol usually means relocating, so the Mann family moved to Broken Bow, North Platte and back to Ogallala during his career. Jack was a member of the State Patrol Air Wing for many years and retired in 1982 as a Sergeant in Troop D.
Retirement meant buying a business. Jack and Edith bought a NAPA Auto Parts franchise in Chadron, Nebraska in 1982 and worked together at Chadron Auto and Farm Parts until they sold the business in 2005. They enjoyed Chadron, friends and neighbors, and were active in the community. Jack was a member of the Hospital Board for many years, including the construction years for the new Chadron Hospital. He also was very involved with the Fur Trade Days.
Jack and Edith had a touring motorcycle and enjoyed short day trips, as well as trips to other states. They also bought a park model home in Arizona to enjoy warm weather in the winter and more motorcycle trips. They were members of an international motorcycle club for people over 40 called the Retreads, and met many people at Retread Rallies across the country.
Jack lost Edith to Alzheimers in 2009. He then moved into a duplex that he and Larry Provance designed and continued to ride his motorcycle with friends for several more years. In 2019, finally tired of eating microwave meals, Jack moved into an independent living apartment at Prairie Pines and thoroughly enjoyed new and old friendships and many conversations in the dining room.
In April, Jack’s health declined quickly from a series of strokes and he passed away on June 15, 2023, at Pioneer Manor in Hay Springs.
Jack is survived by his daughter, Lesley Prewitt of Aurora, CO, son Gary (Cindee) Mann of Tucson, AZ; grandchildren: Taylor (Paul) School of Anchorage, AK, Jenna (George) Neuberger of Fuquay Varina, NC, Allina (Martin) Prather, Patrick (Tahnee) Wilson, Lamira Mann of Tucson, AZ and three great grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron, Nebraska.
Inurnment with Military Honors will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, July 7, 2023, at the Roselawn Cemetery in Columbus, Nebraska.
Donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Disease Research (brightfocus.org/stopAD), the American Legion, or your favorite charity