Mary Malanaphy Schrandt Manning

Monday, August 2, 2021 4:00 pm

Mary Malanaphy Schrandt Manning, age 91, of Decorah, passed away on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at Wellington Place in Decorah.  

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Decorah, IA. With Rev. Daniel Knipper presiding. Burial will be in the St. Benedict Cemetery in Decorah. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 at the Schluter-Balik Funeral Home, 604 South Ave in Decorah and also after 10:00 a.m. at the church on Friday morning. Cards may be sent to her family at: 2885 Bluffton Road, Decorah, IA 52101.  The family plans on giving the donations to the activity fund at Wellington.    

Oh boy, did things get interesting in Heaven this week!  Our Mom, Mary Malanaphy Schrandt Manning (we’ll explain all the names later) used to holler up the stairs at us 8 rambunctious kids, “Don’t make me come up there”!  We think lately she must have been hearing the ruckus my brother Duke Schrandt is probably making “up there” – you know – Heaven, (he passed in 2013) So, on July 29, 2021 after 91 years on this earth, she decided she better go “up there” and grab him by the ear.  Well, here’s where it gets interesting.  Our brother Tim Schrandt passed in 2019, and at the time Mom was in the advanced stages of dementia.  We siblings struggled with how, or whether to break the sad news to her.  After lots of discussion and guidance, we decided just not to tell her.  We joked,  “We’ll just let Tim surprise her when she gets ‘there’.”  Can you imagine the look on her face when she saw Tim!  That must have been the surprise of her…death, I guess.  Bet she’s mad at us now!

Talk about a ruckus, we can’t imagine what it was like when she met up with her Malanaphy clan – Grandpa Jim, Grandma Dorothy and all those crazy aunts and uncles, her brothers Jim and John and her sisters, Betty, Joyce and Dorothy Ellen – let the shenanigans begin!  As much hell as we caused Mom, she knew we had simply learned from the best – our idols, our mentors, our aunts, our uncles, (and her).  Poor St. Peter thought he was getting some relief with Mom there to help keep my brothers in line, heck he just doubled his work load.

Mom married Bill Schrandt and had us 8 kids and later in life married Leo Manning and he already had 8 kids, she loved those Catholic boys.  Both Bill and Leo preceded her in death.  Mom was born June 9, 1930, in an era where women were supposed to be Moms, not work outside the home, be submissive, and defer to your husband.  She was a good Mom – the rest of it she struggled with.  She was too driven, too creative, too outspoken (if there is such a thing) and too intelligent to stay boxed into the expectations of her time.  She was a master at fulfilling her role as expected, but pushing outside those boundaries. 

She led a 4-H club and Cub Scout Troop, but also led a political caucus, she laid out patterns to sew our school clothes and created and laid out advertising at the local newspaper.  She designed Halloween costumes and political posters.  She could write a short story or write a grant to get a waste water treatment plant for a community in need.  She would sit and read to her kids or she would sit on a committee, or a board to address rural water issues, fracking, or anything else she thought needed fixing – or just to put in her two cents worth.  She could draw and paint and she could “paint the town”.  She could tell a good joke (both dirty and clean).  She could make something out of nothing, in no time flat – but if it was food, it wouldn’t be that good.  She wasn’t a very good cook.  People thought her kids were so lucky to be naturally thin, hell we were just starving!

She taught all her kids to push beyond boundaries (and may have regretted that!) She taught us so many things, just by watching how she lived, but the one thing we treasure the most, have used the most, has enriched our lives the most – is how to laugh.  She laughed a lot. We all laugh a lot, and we’ll still laugh a lot, but when we think of her laugh and the sound of her laugh – it makes our hearts full and our eyes leak a little.

Left to remember her and share stories, and yes laughs, are her 6 surviving kids: Mike Schrandt (Rita Dixon), Marty (Clint) Berg, Becky Schrandt-Miles, Bill Schrandt, Pam Kopriva-Barnes (Rick Barnes) and Pete (Sandra) Schrandt, along with her 8 step children, Marcia (Mark) Kruse, Tim (Laurie) Manning, Kevin (Joane) Manning, Karen (Marty) Brennan, Dennis Manning, Michele Houlihan, Leon (Regina) Manning and Lisa (Kurt) King. Her sister Julia (Lavern) Massman.  Sisters-in-law: Jean Malanaphy, Jannan Malanaphy, Edna Schrandt and Eunice Krause.  Daughter-in-law: Cheryl Murray.  As well as 37 grandkids, 46 great grandkids and 1 great-great grandchild.  She was also preceded in death by her granddaughter: Ashley Schrandt.  

That’s a lot of people with a lot of love and a lot of laughter – that’s a legacy!


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