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Obituary for Paul N. Manter

UW-L English professor emeritus, Paul N. Manter, 86, passed away peacefully on June 10, 2021, surrounded by family members, at Mulder Health Care Facility in West Salem. He was born in Hesseville, Indiana to Willard and Bessie Manter, graduated from St. John High School in Dyer, Indiana, and attended Indiana University in Bloomington. Paul joined the Air Force and served his country in Korea as a weather forecaster and instructor. In 1958, after his honorable discharge, he married high school classmate Nelda Piepho. He returned to Indiana University, earned a Master’s Degree in English, and was hired by UW-La Crosse as an English professor. The family then relocated to the La Crosse area. In the years that followed, Paul and Nelda raised their four children at their home on Lake Neshonoc. Their beautiful lakefront property was Paul’s pride and joy. It was the scene of many beach parties for his children and their friends, as well as for many other friends and extended family members. In the winter, people enjoyed sledding down the large hill that led to the lake. One of Paul’s great delights was seeing his children return frequently, bringing their own children to enjoy the lake and property. In addition to water-skiing himself, Paul helped his kids and then his grandkids ski and tube on the lake. During his tenure at UW-L, Paul taught English Composition, American Literature, Linguistics, and Chaucer until his retirement in 1990. Included among his many students were three of his own children and one future son-in-law. Paul was active in the community, teaching free courses at the university, leading Webelo Cub Scouts, coaching youth hockey, and writing game recaps for the local paper. Later in life, Paul enjoyed a complete change from teaching. He began working at a garden center and landscaping firm, a job which he thoroughly enjoyed. After hosting an exchange student from Mexico, Paul wanted to extend that opportunity to others. As a three-state coordinator for a youth exchange program, he recruited host families and helped foreign high school students adjust. Paul was an avid reader, especially in his retirement years, at times finishing up to five novels per week. He doted on the many dogs he owned throughout his life, including four basenjis. He loved to watch and identify the birds at numerous feeders outside his windows. He also enjoyed watching the change of seasons displayed in flowers and foliage on the many, many trees and shrubs he planted at his home. He was a big fan of both the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears; he once claimed that his biggest disappointment in life was that his children were Packer fans. Paul enjoyed spending time with his friends in his bowling league; he bowled a perfect 300 a few times. Travel was an important part of his life. While stationed in Korea, he visited Hong Kong, Okinawa and Japan. Later, Paul’s family took advantage of his summers off by going on long camping trips throughout the U.S. He drove the family to both coasts so that they could see the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. When exchange-student Nena’s year ended, Paul drove the entire family to Mexico to take her home. After Paul’s retirement, he and Nelda traveled widely with extended family and many friends. They gathered their adult children, spouses and families for large group vacations in Orlando, Lake Geneva, and Mishicot. Paul loved going on cruises and visiting different countries, but his favorite place was definitely his home on Lake Neshonoc, where he lived for more than 54 years. Paul will be deeply missed by his wife, Nelda; son, Vernon (Dawn); daughters: Valerie (Bruce) and Venitha (Jim); son-in-law, Jeff; sister, Wilma (Roy); grandchildren: Kalyn, Kendra, Erich, Jake, Zoe, Lara, and Sadie. Sadly, it was hardly a month ago that he was preceded in death by his youngest daughter, Vadrian. A memorial service with military honors will be held on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at the Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, Jostad Chapel, West Salem. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to The Sierra Club, The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, or the American Kidney Foundation.