Rex D. Manley August 6, 1932 – January 10, 2011

Devoted husband, loving father, friend… a true follower of Christ.

Minutes ago, my dad breathed his last. This brief blog will give you insight into my relationship with my father.

Born during the throes of the Great Depression, my dad grew up among the hard-working blue-collar class in Eastern Washington. He is the younger brother of two siblings; a brother who drowned at nine years of age and a sister who succumbed to cancer about ten years ago.

Rex D. Manley was a racehorse owner, Air Force radar tech during the Korean War, salesman, business owner and dedicated volunteer at Northwest Foursquare Church (probably his favorite job).

One of my favorite stories is when my dad was in eighth grade. He and my grandpa cleared forty acres of trees for planting. Every hour after school, and every hour of every Saturday was committed to unimaginably difficult work. Years later, my grandfather apologized for working his 14 year old son so hard. My dads response was, “You didn’t hurt me one bit.”

Towards the end of his high school years, my dad bought a racehorse that had been kicked by its mother. The owners thought it was worthless. My dad loved that horse and trained it to race. The first time the bells went off, the horse froze. It had a late start out of the gate, and yet it managed to best six of the other seven horses.

The horse figured out how to get out of the gate on time, and it went on to take first place in the next 11 races. That equated to a little over $2,000 in winnings for my dad. Not a bad take for an eight-dollar horse.

More than the money, that horse helped to create a significant transformation in my dad. Until this fortuitous relationship, my dad was unusually shy. He would avoid new relationships at just about all costs. People scared him to no end. The life of a racehorse owner did more than bring him out of his shell. It launched him into the (very intimidating) limelight.

A quick rabbit trail: What does an 18 year old do with $2k? He walked into the Ford dealership to buy a brand new car. What does an 18 year old with $2k who gets snubbed by the Ford salesman do? He walks across the street to the Chevrolet dealership and plops down a wad of cash for his brand new car.

My parents were married for over 20 years when I was born. They had four kids in 10 years and one more (me) after another decade had past. I have known the blessing of a very good man I called “dad”. He made many sacrifices for my benefit, including sending me to a Christian school and teaching me a solid work ethic (it didn’t hurt me one bit either).

Dad hit his head almost exactly a year ago. He had a “brain bleed” that caused a type of stroke. It frustrated him to no end that he couldn’t make the rounds at the food bank. His body completely failed him, and he shared with me how badly he wanted to be with Jesus.

One of the highlights for my dad over the last year  was listening to the stories of me being a part of Rooftop 519 and becoming a Pastor . He would introduce me to his nurses as “The Pastor” or, “Mr. President”. He lived his life vicariously through me, pouring in encouragement and advice every time we met.

He’s with Jesus now, leaving behind a legacy of great relationships with friends and family. Thank you, Dad. I love you and we will all miss you. Until we meet again.

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14 thoughts on “Rex D. Manley August 6, 1932 – January 10, 2011

  1. Shawn, how blessed you are to have had a dad who emulated our heavenly Father so well. And how blessed that you are looking forward to the day when you will, most assuredly, see him again. You’re bringing forward an amazing legacy. That’s how it should be with dads. Praying that you’ll be that dad to your kids, too. What a gift. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story of a life well lived. Our fathers our now both in the presence of God. What an amazing thing!!

  3. Hi Shawn,
    Thanks for the look into you and your dads life. It’s always great to hear stories of parents who have influenced their kids in the right direction. We so ofter hear things from those who don’t that we need this. Your dad sounds like a wonderful father and it’s quite evident how proud he was of you! I lost my dad three years ago in November. Still miss him but am glad he’s in heaven too! Maybe your dad and my dad will get acquainted up there before we get there! 🙂
    Jim

  4. So very sorry to read your post. I know that my feeling of lost is so small compaired to yours, your mother and the rest of the family, but my heart feels the hurt of losing one of my best friends, a friend of 62 years but so meaningful the past 11. My heart goes out to you all.

  5. Rex was truly blessed with his Family and Faith.
    I worked part time for Rex as a freight salesman for added income. And when I would sell something I always would look forward to a call from Rex asking me “Why don’t you stop by, I have a few nickels for you to rub together”. It was never much, but it was a time to share the past and talk about our Families latest achievements. I will always hold these times close to my heart. So long for now, my friend! Bill

  6. I also was sorry to hear about your father. I havn’t seen him since we were in high school, but he was still a friend. My father was Sam Perrins, and I’m sure Rex had him for a teacher in high school. Most did one way or the other. My sympathy goes with you.

  7. Your Dad has always looked ahead and made plans for us all to get together for a family reunion- Well he did it again- and when we join him again it will be the greatest…Milt & Aunt Lolly (Osborn)

  8. Shawn, thank you very much for sharing! It was nice to get a better understanding of your father than I was ever able to get at the family reunions.

    Uncle Rex wad always such a pleasant, playful man! I will dearly miss the opportunities to stop by and visit with him and your mom whenever I’m in the area!

    I love you and am praying for your family this week!

  9. So thankful for the time and memories that we have shared. Looking forward to our reunion that only God has provided for us. We will miss our Dear Uncle while we are still here, but await our eternity together. Our prayers are for God’s comfort for all family and friends that have been blessed by our Uncle Rex.

  10. We have truly been blessed to shared past time and memories. Looking forward to sharing eternity together. We will miss Uncle Rex while still here, but have the blessed assurance of the most wonderful family reunion.
    Our prayers are for comfort for the family and friends that have been touched by Uncle Rex.

  11. Your dad was a wonderful person. I had been to Seattle for 3 weeks long time ago, he was my host father. He was very kind to take care of me, and showed me the places in Seattle. I liked himso much, and I am sure I will see him in heaven in the future!!!!!!

  12. What an amazing tribute to honor your Dad….of which both your earthly and Heavenly Father could be proud. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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