Saturday, March 23, 2013

Celebrating My Dad's Life

Dr. Walter A. Manch, 81, died March 22, 2013, at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah. He was surrounded by loving family, including Gertrude, his wife of 59 years, son Larry, and close friends, Rose and Ken Ronjon of St. George.

Dr. Manch, Ph.D., was born September 14, 1931 in Utica, New York, the only child of Larry and Eleanor (Bowman) Manch. He attended elementary, middle, and high schools in Utica before enrolling at Utica College and Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. He earned his doctorate from SU in 1961, and taught chemistry and physics in several colleges and universities over a lengthy and successful career.

Walter married Gertrude Neumann on September 5, 1953 in Utica. They had three sons – Larry, Scott, and David.

Dr. Manch’s post-doctoral fellowships included work at Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania; Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA, and a year at the Institute of Physics and Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

His teaching career included Carnegie Institute, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, and the State University of New York, Delhi, New York. He co-authored a college chemistry textbook entitled The Science of Chemistry: Periodic Properties and Chemical Behavior, published by The MacMillan Company in 1971.

Dr. Manch was an elected judge in the 1990’s, serving as Justice of the Peace for the Town of Bovina in Delaware County, New York. He was an accomplished wood carver, a master fly fisherman, expert fly-tier, and a licensed fly fishing guide, concentrating on guiding and teaching fly fishermen on the world-famous Beaver Kill River in southern New York State.

After retiring from SUNY-Delhi in 1993, Dr. Manch was awarded the rank of Associate Professor Emeritus from the State University of New York system. Always a teacher, he went on to visiting professorships at Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho; Mohave Community College, Colorado City, Arizona, and Dixie State University in St. George, Utah.

In retirement, Walter and Gertrude enjoyed traveling throughout the western states, fishing favorite trout streams, and volunteering as guides and teachers at numerous National Parks. Their travels took them to virtually every Western state, eventually settling in the St. George, Utah area where they have lived for 15 years.

Walter was a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees, and also enjoyed watching basketball, hockey, and Formula One auto racing. He was a prolific reader and spent his life continuing to learn.

Dr. Manch is survived by his wife Gertrude, son Larry Manch, daughter-in-law Tiffany Manch (Killeen, Texas); son Scott Manch (Rhode Island), granddaughters Cassie (Rhode Island), Emily (Texas); grandson Brendan (Texas); great grandsons James and Aloucious (Rhode Island). He was pre-deceased by son David in 2008.

Dr. Manch spent his life teaching, and he was compelled to continue to contribute to scientific and medical research even after his death. He specified that his remains be donated to a company that specializes in providing valuable practice for surgeons.

Walter will be missed by all that knew and loved him.

Mrs. Manch will move to Killeen, Texas, to be near family.

© 2013 Larry Manch


  1. Ahhhh Larry, I really am sorry to hear this sad news. It's always hard to lose a parent, especially when he was one of the really good ones. Please take comfort in knowing he really lived a fulfilled life and pursued many of his highest joys. I can learn many useful traits from your dad. Maybe today I'll start moving closer to this description of success. Because, when we get down to it. this is what success really is. Love and Peace to all of you! Regards//KP

  2. Wow..Celebrate a great and successful life!!So many people he must have helped shape during a lifetime of teaching. Thoughts are with you & your family, Larry.

  3. Great tribute to your father's life Larry. He sounds like a person who lived a full life and will be missed very much.

  4. Your Dad would of been very proud of the comments that you wrote about his life. He was a very talented man and truely enjoyed life to the fullest. My heart goes out to you and your family in this time of sorrow, but know that he is in a better place and not suffering any more. I'm glad that your Mom has chose to move close to you so she can spend more time with you and your family and the grandkids. We have enjoyed being friends with your parents for the past 7 years and your Dad will be truly missed, he kept us on our toes. Take care, Ken & Rose