January 11, 1943
July 23, 2023
On Sunday, July 23, 2023, Robert “Bob” John Manns entered into rest at 80 years of age in Brantford, Ontario. Since March of this year, Bob had been living at Seasons Retirement Community in Brantford. After recently contending with Alzheimer’s disease and subsequent physical complications, Bob passed peacefully in his sleep.
An elementary schoolteacher in Brant County for over three decades, Bob is survived by a loving family, including: his nephews, Robert and Nicholas Stenzel, his niece, Laura Stenzel; Robert’s wife, Marti; his grandniece, Savannah; and the family dachshund, Chloe. Bob also leaves behind his cousins once removed, Brian, Karen, and Sheila, and their families, and his friends: Doug, Linda, Sharon, Helen, Gord, and many others from the Brantford golf and hockey communities. Bob was preceded into rest by his father, John Manns, his mother, Laura Manns (née White), his sister, Margaret Stenzel (née Manns), and cousins, Peter and Betty Kowalchuk. Like Bob, his father and sister succumbed to Alzheimer’s; his mother died from bone cancer.
Born in Brantford on Monday, January 11, 1943, Bob was the second child of John and Laura Manns. John was a purchasing agent for the Cockshutt farm equipment company and Laura was a legal secretary and homemaker. Bob’s sister, Margaret, was three years his senior. The Manns family resided in Brantford as both children came of age. While Margaret would eventually become a nurse and move permanently to Los Angeles, Bob stayed in Brantford his entire life, living in the family home on Erie Avenue until 2005 and then on Park Road North. Bob attended Pauline Johnson Collegiate and became an elementary schoolteacher after completing his B.A. He earned his M.Ed. from Niagara University by taking night, weekend, and summer courses. As a teacher, Bob shared his deep knowledge of geography and history with his students. He was also a devoted reader of mysteries and westerns in his spare time.
In addition to fishing with his father as a boy, Bob took an early interest in sports. His strong hand-eye coordination helped him to excel at baseball, softball, squash, golf, and hockey. Bob developed his baseball skills at the former gravel pit that is now Parsons Park and he played on softball teams while teaching. From his youth through retirement, Bob remained active with golf and hockey. In his younger days, Bob rode his bike to Arrowdale Golf Course with his bag over his shoulder, while he later was a regular member and starter at Northridge / Walter Gretzky Golf Course. For many years, Bob had a five handicap and he even golfed close to par in his late 70s. His career highlights included a hole-in-two par five and a close encounter with a black bear in a sand trap in Banff. Primarily a hockey goalie, Bob played three or four times per week as an adult for the “Shaky Shooters” traveling team until his early 70s. From 2003 to 2020, Bob was a volunteer coach for the girls hockey team at Brantford Collegiate Institute. Likewise, he was an avid, longtime fan of the Blue Jays and Maple Leafs. Bob enjoyed attending games in Toronto and watching both teams regularly on his large-screen television.
Although Bob remained in Brantford his whole life, he traveled extensively to play hockey and golf with friends. Beyond Canada and the United States, Bob ventured to the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, and elsewhere. As a retiree, he also enjoyed annual, winter road trips to Florida with his friend Doug. For almost forty years, Bob traveled to Los Angeles every December to spend the holidays with his sister Margaret’s family. He was a good cook who woke early on Christmas Day to make breakfast and prepare the turkey. Bob graciously hosted Margaret as well on her return visits to Brantford for Canadian Thanksgiving each October. A lifelong bachelor, Bob was quite close from afar with his sister. They spoke by phone on a weekly basis. Bob treated her to a trip to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, which they took together, and he gifted her a new car as she neared retirement. Bob’s generosity and kindness also extended to his nephews and niece. As adults, Robert, Laura, and Nicholas established warm personal relationships with their Uncle Bob. They have sadly lost their mother and uncle in the same year, but countless fond memories of both remain.
A memorial service will be held for Bob Manns on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Beckett-Glaves Family Funeral, 88 Brant Avenue, Brantford, Ontario, N3T 3H3. A reception will follow immediately at Beckett-Glaves, with the interment of Bob’s ashes the same day at 2:30 p.m. at Farringdon Burial Ground, 287 Mount Pleasant Street, Brantford, Ontario N3T 1V2. Bob will be laid to rest beside his parents. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hockey Is Hers program operated by Hockey Canada, 400 Kipling Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M8V 3L1: https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/corporate/foundation/hockey-is-hers/donate.