Francis Phillip Manseau, better known as Frank, passed away on Sunday, April 12, 2015 at the age of 84. He is remembered for his kindness, generosity and determination.
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Frank was born in Lewistown, Montana to Horace Phillip Manseau and Azalea Jane Spaulding on April 7, 1931. He grew up in Harlowton, Montana working in his father's restaurant, as well as delivering groceries and newspapers. Later, he began his career as a mechanic at the Chevrolet dealer in town, where he first began his admiration of Chevy vehicles. He was subsequently employed at Frontier Chevrolet in Billings, and then moved to Northern Auto in Bozeman before changing to the Robert F. Dye/JC Billion dealership. When he had mastered his trade, he opened his own shop, Manseau Auto Clinic, which he operated for 20 years. He enjoyed his time teaching auto mechanics at Montana State University and with the Bozeman Adult Education Extension Program. He also had the honor of serving 20 years in the Army National Guard, retiring as a captain.
Virginia Matson Manseau was the love of Frank's life. They were happily married on June 8, 1985. For nearly 30 years they enjoyed camping, traveling, woodworking, music, dancing, card games, gardening and visiting with friends and family. Frank and Virginia were committed to their Christian faith through their volunteer work with the Bozeman United Methodist Church, Good Sam Club, Community Café, Vacation Bible School and Luccock Park Church Camp. Frank was a dedicated member of the Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee and enjoyed playing gigs with his bass; his music will be missed. Virginia, whom he missed every day for the last three months, preceded Frank in death.
Frank is survived by all of his children: Mark (Kim) Manseau, Denise (Chip) Newman, Celeste (Bill) Hansen, Brent (Jayna) Manseau and Kenny Kay (Fred) McElderry, whom he raised with his former wife Beverly Wanders in Bozeman. The family spent time on road trips, on the slopes of Bridger Bowl, and visiting friends and family. When he married Virginia he was proud to call Jim (Arlana) Morris and Rich Morris his sons.
Frank and Virginia had 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren who Frank taught to canoe, fish, woodwork, roast marshmallows, and smile for photos after each family dinner. His grandchildren are Derek (Traci) Manseau, Cory (Jeanna) Manseau, Andrew, Leanna and Christie Hansen, Natalie, Carson, and Rebecca Manseau, Bailey and Jack Thompson, Mandy, Britt, and Dustin Morris, and Mandy (Cory) and Brian (Deanna) McElderry. His great-grandchildren loved him for the toy box, rocking chair and teddy bears he kept for them. Their names are Gerry, Alec, Selah, and Sydney Manseau, and Shelby and Kendra Foreman. Frank is also survived by his siblings, Azalea (Bill) Carter, Elaine Tietz, Sylvia (Alan) Gersman, and Lewis (Karen) Manseau, and many nieces and nephews.
Frank was insistent that everyone be invited to his table, and eagerly regarded strangers as friends not yet made. He will be remembered through the photographs he captured and the lives he touched. He was always willing to lend a hand to anyone in need, and did so often. Frank inspired those around him to be similarly generous, inviting and helpful.
As Frank wished, all of his friends, family and acquaintances are invited to celebrate his life. Please join us on May 1, 2015, at 2 p.m. at Bozeman United Methodist Church. His ashes will be interred at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman, Montana.
Donations in his memory can be made to the following organizations that were close to Frank's heart: Bozeman United Methodist Church, 121 South Willson, Bozeman, MT 59715; Bozeman Community Café, 302 N. 7 Ave, Bozeman, MT 59715; and The Intermountain Children's Home, 500 S. Lamborn Street, Helena, MT 59601.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 26, 2015