Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 23, 2014

James Robert "Jim" Manard

Apr 29, 2014

James Robert “Jim” Manard, 84, New London, died Sunday, April 27, 2014, at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City following a brief illness.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 1, at Elliott Chapel, New London. The Rev. James Roth will officiate. Military Rites will be presented by the Henry County Honor Guard. Burial will be in Aspen Grove Cemetery, Burlington. Visitation will begin after noon on Wednesday, April 30, at the Chapel. Masonic Rites will be given at 5 p.m. and the family will then greet friends until 7 p.m.

Memorials can be made to the New London United Methodist Church.

He was born on Sept. 15, 1929, in Ft. Madison, and was the only child of Theodore “Ted” and Janie Lancaster Manard. He attended Ft. Madison schools, graduating in 1947. He later attended Burlington Junior College, Chillicothe Business College and the University of Iowa. In 1949, he joined the United States Navy, serving on the USS Boxer aircraft carrier. He was recalled into service during the Korean Conflict where he served aboard the USS Leyte.

On Feb. 28, 1953, he married Maxine Carol Gerdom.

He was a jazz pianist and band leader. He was also the host of his own jazz music show on KBUR-Radio for the past 13 years. He was honored with the Burlington Steamboat Days Viceroy of Jazz Award in 2001.

He worked at Sears & Roebuck in Burlington. In 1960 he joined the firm of Silas Mason and Hanger, contracted to operate the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, as an Employment Specialist. In 1966, he was transferred to Grand Island, Neb., to reopen a dormant plant there. In 1973, that plant was closed and he was transferred back to the facility in Middletown. He served the company as Employment Specialist, retiring on Nov. 1, 1991, after 31 years.

He began playing piano professionally at the age of 14.

He was a member of the New London VFW Post 7641, Elks Lodge #1192 in Fairfield, Travelers Protection Association, Masonic Lodge Claypoole #13 AF and AM of Ft. Madison, American Federation of Musicians Local #463 of Lincoln, Neb., the Just Jazz Club of Burlington and Civic Music Association in Burlington. He was an active member of the New London United Methodist Church where he was a past board member and participated in the choir and the Methodist Men.

He is survived by his wife; his children, Brad (Carolyn) Manard of Boone, Tim Manard of Champaign, Ill., Claire (Rick) Seely of St. Charles and Jana (Steve) Dingeman of West Des Moines; seven grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

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