Robert Martin McManis

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Robert Martin McManis

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Robert (Bob) Martin McManis, long time Wyoming resident, passed away peacefully on August 5, 2008 in Billings, Montana at the age of 91.

Bob was born to Benjamin and Ava McManis on December 11, 1916 in Clay Center, Kansas. After moving to Wyoming as a young boy, Bob attended school in Grass Creek, Wyoming and later graduated from Thermopolis High School. In 1932, while attending high school, Bob was on the Wyoming State Football Championship team an accomplishment of which he was most proud.

On December 25, 1939, he married Virginia Bell, his life-long travel, golfing and fishing partner. Their daughter Dona was born in 1943.

Bob served as a Wyoming Highway Patrolman and then worked for McCurdy Chevrolet in Thermopolis, Wyoming. He also worked for the Big Horn Coal Company in Sheridan, Wyoming. In 1953, Bob began his career with the Husky Oil Company in Cody, Wyoming where he became one of the most respected oil men in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Canada. During his years with Husky Oil, Bob instigated the idea of truck stops and oversaw the development and opening of Husky Oil truck stops throughout the region including two in Billings, Montana. In 1982, after 29 years of service, he retired as Senior Executive Vice President of Husky Oil Company, a company he loved.

At the age of 18 Bob started announcing rodeos. Seems the announcer didn’t show up at the Thermopolis rodeo and Bob agreed to take over. He soon became recognized as one of the “best professional rodeo announcers in the business.” Although he did not make a career of rodeo announcing, his interest in and participation as an announcer remained a passion throughout his life. Some of his favorite rodeos were the Midland Empire State Fair in Billings, Montana, the Calgary Stampede, the Wyoming State Fair, Deadwood, South Dakota Days of76′, and the Cody Stampede both of which he announced for 25 years.

Bob loved politics and was active in the Wyoming Republican Party. He worked on many political campaigns and was a driving force behind the election of Milward Simpson as the Governor of Wyoming. During his tenure with Husky Oil, he took a two-year sabbatical to work as Chief of Staff for Governor Simpson.

Bob had a quick wit and his ability to tell a good story is legendary. He enjoyed golfing with his friends and was always up for a “dime a putt” bet. Fishing was his passion and he loved taking his granddaughter fishing in the Sunlight Basin. He had a real knack for picking the right lure or bait for the day and he could spot a good fishing hole a mile away.

Bob loved life, his family, his friends, the oil business, politics, rodeos, golf, fishing, sports on television, a good scotch and the Wyoming Cowboys. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. His accomplishments and the way he led his life are a tribute to the kind of guy he was. He will be missed.

Bob is survived by his wife, Virginia, daughter Dona Hagen (Paul), granddaughter Sydney Hagen, Carl and Diane McManis, Mike and Chris McManis Carl and Jessie McManis, Debbie and Steven Anders, Christopher Anders, Sam and Beth McManis, Casey, Cormac and Maggie McManis, Anna Knapp, Tom and Glenda Knapp, Lisa Knapp, David Knapp, Ted and Mitzi Knapp, Melissa and Chad Rieger, and Brad and Kristin Knapp and his many friends.

A memorial celebration of Bob’s life will be held at 11 :00 am on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at the Ballard Funeral Home in Cody, Wyoming. Cremation has taken place.

Memorials honoring Bob’s life may be sent to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 2110 Overland Avenue, Suite 111, Billings, Montana, 59102; Highgate Senior Living, 3980 Parkhill Drive, Billings, Montana, 59102; or Saint Vincent Foundation, 1106 North 30th, Billings, Montana, 59101.

Remembrances

Dear Virginia, Dona, Paul, and Sydney,
Our thoughts are with all of you at this difficult time. We all have such fond and wonderful memories of Bob. The Girls just loved him so much. He was so proud of our Girls. Bob will always be remembered as the most kind and caring individual. He has definitely left behind an incredible legacy. Our love and our thoughts to all of you. God Bless Your Family and give you comfort and peace at this time. Our Blessings, Terry, Diana, Christina, and Danielle Skinner

Dear Virginia and family
I am so sad to hear of Bob’s passing. We lived across the street from you for many many years and he was my first customer at my nightcrawler stand. He also was a very good friend to my grandfather who had great respect for Bob. He has always been one of my very favorite people. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.
Teresa (Gillett) Howard

To Dona and Family
I am so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. He was one of the truly memorable Husky folks that I knew and my dad (Tom) spoke of him often after my folks retired and moved to California. I recall your dad always being good to us kids and having wonderful tales to tell. He is missed.
Howard Wise

He was a man of impeccable integrity and it was a pleasure to work with him. Kathleen ODonnell

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