John Joseph McManus Jr passed away peacefully on April 19, 2022, at his home in Baton Rouge, surrounded by loved ones. John was 96 years young - or 50/46 as he liked to say. He was a devoted Catholic and community activist, always striving to walk in the path of his faith. John was one of the earliest members of St. Thomas More Church and School in Baton Rouge. He and his wife, Kathleen, raised their four children in the STM Community. They along with other couples formed a CFM (Christian Family Movement) group. The group met frequently for decades to share food, fun and discuss their Catholic faith. John was also very involved with Manresa and served as Captain for many years.
John loved spending time with immediate and extended family. He had a passion for body-surfing and looked forward to annual family beach vacations. Thanks to good health he was able to continue body-surfing the waves well into his 90’s.
John always looked for the good in others and in the world around him. He had a wonderful sense of humor and a big heart for everyone. He was soft-spoken, full of kindness and gratitude and never had a bad word to say about anyone. He prided himself on never having an argument with his sister, Mary.
John was born in New York City and raised in Atlanta, GA. He joined the Navy at 17 as an Aviation Radioman. One of his favorite naval drills was transferring by cable between aircraft carriers while over open water. John had quite a sense of humor. It was a standing joke that he subjected his children to repeated viewings of the Navy slides and they dreaded the words, “It’s Navy Slide Night”
In Atlanta, John met and married his beloved wife, Kathleen. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1952 with his Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering and accepted a position with Exxon Chemical (then Esso) where he worked until retiring in 1990. The McManus family lived in both Japan and Holland while John worked on Exxon Chem Plant Start-ups. In 1996, John received a Canadian patent for “a method for inhibiting popcorn polymer formation by heat”. At Exxon he was fondly known as Johnny Mac and was never without his “nerd pack” (pocket protector).
John’s wife Kathleen passed away in 1985 and several years later he married Jeanne Blanchard McManus. He and Jeanne traveled frequently, both overseas and within the US. During that time John developed a love for camping. He and Jeanne often took their camper on the road. John loved meeting new people, exploring other cultures and trying new cuisines.
He and Jeanne were very involved with Friends of Batahola in Managua, Nicaragua and spent many years helping them develop a cultural center for faith and education. When Jeanne developed Alzheimer’s, John became her caregiver for many years until her death in 2017.
John always made time for his children and grandchildren and was always willing to help with homework. PawPaw was the "go to guy" the grandchildren called on for help with math assignments. They all know that he would take the time to study the math problems and coach them along to understanding. Paw Paw Mac was always willing to play cards with his grandchildren and great grandchild, as well as playing outside games with them. He strongly supported them academically, athletically and artistically.
John is survived by his daughter, Sharon Elliott (Husband, Buford), son, Michael McManus (wife Angela), grandchildren, Shane Hebert Sr., Mike McManus, Alex McManus, Sarah McManus, Mason Bennett, Taylor McManus, great grandchild, Shane Hebert Jr. John is also survived by his sister, Mary Kratzer and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. A special hug to his amazing dedicated Caregivers, Joyce Henry and Ernestine Eubank and his beloved special friend, “My Janet Claire”, Janet Lejeune.
Preceded in death by his parents, John J McManus Sr and Nell McCarthy McManus, wives Kathleen Moroy McManus (1985), Jeanne Blanchard McManus (2017); Son, Timothy McManus (1972), daughter, Marianne McManus Bennett (2015); grandson, Jason Miley (2006).
Visitation will be at Resthaven Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA on Tuesday, April 26 from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm.
Funeral Mass will be held at St. Thomas More Church, 11441 Goodwood Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA on Wednesday, April 27 at 10:00 am. Graveside Service at Resthaven following Mass on Wednesday.
Pallbearers will be: Shane Hebert Sr., Shane Hebert Jr., Mike McManus, Mason Bennett, Art Clement and Beau Cook.