Matthew Mann

Matt Mann, a native of Ann Arbor, MI, and the son of the late Matt and Lea Mann, was born on October 3, 1927. He passed away peacefully at his home in Lansing, MI, surrounded by his family, on June 11, 2014.

Matt earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Michigan. While at school, Matt served as captain of the swim team, and was a four-time All American. The highlight of his swimming career at Michigan was not only as a member of the 1948 National Championship Swimming Team, but also his continued friendship and association with its team members. From 1946-1947, Matt served in the United States Army in Hawaii.

After graduating from U of M, Matt came to Lansing to teach at West Junior High School, and to coach the Sexton High School Swim Team. In later years, he taught social studies, and coached diving. He loved teaching in the classroom as much as coaching in the pool.

Matt spent the first forty-six summers of his life at Camp Chikopi in Magnetawan, Ontario. There, he touched many lives as an administrator, a coach, and an example to hundreds of young athletes. It was, “up at camp” – a staple phrase in the Mann household and for many years to come – where he met the love of his life, Buffy (Evelyn Mary Stone Mann). Matt and Buffy were married on June 11, 1955 in Ann Arbor, MI. She will miss him very much.

In 1971, his fellow Michigan coaches awarded him the Bruce Harlan Award for coaching diving. For ten years in a row, a Sexton diver had qualified for the State Championships. In 1981, he was also awarded the Matt Mann Award, which was named for his father, for his outstanding contribution to high school swimming in Michigan.

Matt retired from Sexton High School in 1986; however, he remained quite active in the Lansing community as a cross country and track coach for the Sexton Girls’ team, and as a supporter of Habitat for Humanity. Matt assisted in the construction of over eighty homes in both Michigan and Florida.

He very much enjoyed winters in Florida with his friends. At 84, Matt still sailboarded on the inland waterway and played competitive tennis – both at Court One in Lansing, and in Florida.

Matt will be missed by his sisters-in-law: Liz Hathway (Nick, deceased), Margaret Austin (Allen, deceased), Lois Stone (Bob, deceased), and Lola Stone (George, deceased). He was predeceased by his sisters: Connie Green and RoseMary Dawson (Buck, deceased).

He will be lovingly missed, with knowing smiles, by his five daughters and their families: MaryLea and Edward Benson; Katie and Bob Korroch; Maureen Nauss and Charlie Swieringa, Michael Nauss and Bob Hoffman; Polly and David Middleton; Peggy and Dennis Fennema.

Matt’s grandchildren: Michelle Benson, Kate Korroch, Chad Jewsbury, (Christopher, deceased), and Molly Korroch; Matthew Nauss; Abby, Matt and Carly Middleton; Allie, Silas and Samantha Fennema, will miss his stories, bear hugs, big sneezes, and sly smile.

Matt shared many good times and laughs with his cousins, nieces, and nephews on both sides of the family including Chick, Bob, and Kurt Muller, Connie Corson, and Marilyn Whitney.

Matt was a longtime member of St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lansing, and very much enjoyed supporting the community there.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 21, 2014, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 218 W. Ottawa Street, in Lansing, MI. The family will receive friends from 3-5 and 6-8 p.m. on Friday at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s Music Program, The Michigan Cancer Society or Hospice of Lansing, Inc. whose staff cared for him with such grace.

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13 Messages to “Matthew Mann

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Pam & Gene Keck
June 11, 2014 at 10:10 pm

We are so sorry for the loss of such a wonderful man. We know how much all of your family will miss him. We are friends & neighbors of Buffy & Matt’s from FL & will miss his conversation & welcoming smile. God bless all of you.

Barb Knighton
June 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Dear Buffy, Maureen and family,

I was so sorry to hear of your loss today. Matt was such a wonderful person and leader of your family. I know he will be missed dearly by all of you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs and love to you all.

Barb Knighton

Patrick Kennedy - Chikopi alum
June 12, 2014 at 12:52 am

Sadly, I report the following.

The green fields and the leaves of the white birch of Chikopi (and Ak-O-Mak) droop and sag in sadness, yet with campers’ arrivals will soon bluster and blossom in the energy Matt Mann III instigated along the shores of Ahmic. May you rest in peace with your parents and your wonderful sister RoseMary and your niece, Marci.

Your legacy lives on in us. We carry this forth in our lives.

We are Family. We are Family. We are Family. Chikopi.

My condolences to the Mann, MaryLea Mann Benson Michelle Benson, Maureen Mann Nauss Peggy Mann Fennema and Polly Middleton families and all who knew and loved this Mann who gave us an environment to be our best selves. To compete. To ‘lick’ the guy in the mirror. To climb the ladder of success without cold feet. To stick with it like a lump of coal. And to remember to be a good person each day of our lives.

Thank you Matt and Buffy. You helped make hundreds of us believe in ourselves thanks to your solid foundation.

Pamela (Voss) & John Wils
June 12, 2014 at 7:31 am

Dear Marylea (Mann), Ed and Michelle Benson and the Mann Families,
We wish to express the deepest of condolences for the loss of your Father and Grandfather.

Matt Mann was a great man and a pillar in our community. He formed the lives of so many children through his teachings and in the swimming pool. His passing is a significant loss to our community.

We pray that your great memories help you to find peace.

We send our Love, Prayers and Blessings to each if you!
God Bless!

With Sympathy, Pamela (Voss) & John Wils

Karin (Myers) Bartlett
June 12, 2014 at 9:36 am

He was a wonderful teacher who touch my life. He will be missed. I send prayers to your family

Joseph Zellmer
June 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm

What a true gentleman and still an inspiration. I have had the fortune to coach several teams and am thankful I had Matt as such a great role model. I am sorry for your loss of a gentle soul.

Best Regards,
Joe Zellmer

David Timpe
June 12, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Fond memories of 11th grade History in 1961-62. I learned a lot from Mr. Mann.

Dave Rider
June 13, 2014 at 7:12 am

Our thoughts & prayers are with you all. He was a great man – loved & respected by those whose lives he touched. May the Lord hold you firmly in His comforting arms.
Blessings to you all,
Dave Rider

Marcel Kohler
June 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Matty was a great coach and teacher, I learned so much from him.

Susan Happley
June 14, 2014 at 10:14 pm

I had the pleasure of having Mr. Mann for my sophomore, junior and senior years of high school (1982-1984). I loved to listen to his stories and I learned so much from him. He made class challenging and fun. I counted him as one of my favorite teachers.

Paul Fuener
June 15, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Matt was my coach at Sexton, 1964-67, and I was privileged to attend, and then serve as a counselor, at Camp Chikopi in 1966-69. Matt’s coaching and encouragement transformed my swimming, and his integrity and work ethic did much to shape my character. It was an honor to know him.

Jim Nelligan
June 16, 2014 at 7:20 am

Matt was my swim coach at Sexton from 1954 to 1957. He was such an inspiration to so many young men and women in and out of school.

John Hershey
June 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Matt was the first person to speak to me when I was hired to teach at Sexton, and included me for lunch on our first day in the building. Same smile and calm as when he assisted Dale Metts at West Jr. (Dale told me years later he knew nothing about swimming before Matt). A fine colleague and friend for years. My sympathy to Buffy and the family–Team Mann.


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