Fred Mandigo Jr.
Fred Mandigo Jr., age 94, of Sturgis, Mich., passed away Thursday evening, Oct. 13, 2016, at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis. He was born Aug. 3, 1922, in Sturgis, Mich., son of the late Fred and Ida Charlotte (Grant) Mandigo. He grew up in Klingers, Mich., where his family had a general store. He took guitar lessons from Jay Stacy for several years in the 1930s. Fred attended and graduated from White Pigeon High School in 1940. He was an active member of the high school band and continued his involvement with music throughout his life. On Aug. 24, 1947, he married Phyllis Hall in Howe, Ind. She died Feb. 2, 2013. He met her, a registered nurse, at Sturgis Hospital when his sister Betty introduced them. They spent over 65 eventful years together, raising four children affectionately called "The Four V's" for their first initial. Fred participated in local bowling leagues, played on softball teams, and played chess both locally and via the U.S. mail with several fellow chess fans. Fred retired from Sturgis Newport Business Forms in 1986 following 43 years of dedicated employment. He began working at the National Carbon Coated Paper Company and saw the company through several changes in ownership. Fred was a very active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis since June 22, 1951, where he had served in several positions including as an Elder, Deacon, Trustee and Director of Christian Education. He was a talented percussionist playing drums in the four-man dance band the Four Downbeats for many years and playing an array of percussion instruments in the community band. He took advantage of his many years of studying guitar by playing songs on his guitar with his children when they were young and later participating in the re-born Jay Stacy Band, made up of past students of Jay Stacy. He also enjoyed playing chess, painting, and reading. Fred loved playing cards and carrom and, generally, spending time with his grandchildren. He will be deeply missed by three daughters, Victoria (Robert) Braquet of Katy, Texas, Virginia (James) Keen of Eaton, Ohio and Valerie (Emmett) Cosgrove of South Haven; one son, Vaughn (Debbie) Mandigo of Sturgis; seven grandchildren, Scott (Jessica) Braquet, Nicole (Daniel) Matson, Ed Braquet, Benjamin Keen, Michelle (David) Clouse, Marci (Tom) Lough, and Patrick Cosgrove; six great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and three sisters, Donna Baley, Betty Derck and Dorothy Phillips. In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at the Hackman Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091, 269-651-2331. A memorial service celebrating the life of Fred Mandigo Jr. will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 21 at the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis. Pastor Robert Keim will officiate. A graveside committal of the ashes will follow the service at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis. The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation In Mr. Mandigo's memory consider the First Presbyterian Church, 1320 S. Lakeview Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091 or the charity of one's own choice. The obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhomes.com where personal messages of support may be left for the family.
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