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Roberta Manis

Died: Mon., Nov. 11, 2013


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Roberta Manis

 

MISSOULA - Roberta Manis of Missoula died peacefully at home Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. She was born in Glasgow on May 23, 1935, to Valarah and Roy Johnson. She moved to Missoula as a young child, where she attended Paxson Elementary School, Missoula County High School and the University of Montana.

After her education, she worked in Main Hall at the university, writing grants and administering special programs such as Peace Corps, Elderhostel and Vista. She was intensely interested in civic life, and was a founding member of the University Homeowners Association; she took great pride in questioning the actions of the city fathers and holding them accountable for their decisions.

Together with her husband Merle, she lovingly restored a historic Victorian home in the University District, where she raised her four daughters surrounded by art, music, literature and interesting people. In this welcoming and stimulating atmosphere, she conveyed her value of critical thought and creative endeavor, which is her wonderful legacy.

Roberta believed that there was no story that couldn't be improved with careful attention to exaggeration and embellishment. Our lives were rich with tales and family lore, and the family home is haunted by what she claimed was the ghost of some poor soul who died waiting for teenaged girls to vacate the bathroom. The big Victorian on Fifth Street now hosts one more benevolent spirit.

Roberta was preceded in death by her husband Merle Manis, as well as her first husband, William Everard, both good men. She is survived by her brother, Ron Johnson (Margaret); her daughters, Holly Crownhart, Cathy Manis, Susan (Peter) Geoddel and Michele (Conrad) Nokleby; as well as eight grandchildren, Zachary Schubert, Mark Hermann, Lauren and Sean Goeddel, Brian and Daniel Crownhart, Valarah Nokleby and Cony Craighead. She is also survived by her nephew, Eric (Sandy) Johnson; great-nephew, Aiden Johnson; and her great-granddaughter, Lola Goeddel.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church with a brief reception following. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution in Roberta's name to the Missoula Historical Society.

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