Albert Wayne Mann was born in 1925 as the only child of parents Albert and Mildred Mann of Shelbina, Missouri. The Manns were hard working, humble people who began their life together in Shelbina, later moving to Quincy, Illinois where Albert Wayne Mann spent most of his childhood years. Albert graduated from Quincy High School in 1944, playing sports all four years and earning numerous medals for wrestling and lettering in football. His parents ran a small grocery store / diner during this time, so lunch with his friends was still handmade by his mother. After graduation, he joined the US Navy towards the end of World War 2. He was awarded a Pacific Campaign Medal, an American Campaign medal, and a Victory medal before being honorably discharged in 1946. Albert also became a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve around 1950. He met and married Lela Morgan in Quincy in 1948 and since he was in college at Bradley University, they moved to Peoria, Illinois. A gifted natural athlete, he played four years of college football at the center position and as defensive linebacker. His achievements were crowned by being the first man in Bradley history to complete the formidable testing requirements for the national physical education fraternity, Sigma Delta Psi. In the previous six years, only 169 other men in the entire country qualified. He earned a Bachelors in Education in 1950 and a Masters in Business in 1955. After he graduated, he went to work at Bradley and they built their own home together overlooking the Illinois River. He began his lengthy career in several public school districts which took them to Park Forest, Illinois, then Springfield, Illinois, then back to Park Forest. He started as a teacher and moved up to district management. They had three children; Sharon Lee Mann, Lisa Marion Mann, and Dwayne Albert Mann. Albert and Lela divorced in 1972. Albert remained in Park Forest and met his second wife, Doris, while working one of his many sides jobs as he was never one to sit still at home. He not only gained a loving soulmate, but also her three children, Helen Goldstein, Curtis Reifon, and Jason Mann. They married in 1976 and were together almost 47 years. They traveled, camped, and raised children together until as empty-nesters, moved to Tennessee to their current home. He worked tirelessly as a school district Business Manager until he retired in 1992 from Palos Park District 118. Throughout his adult life, Albert loved to keep busy and found volunteering and community service was his calling. After moving to Park Forest in 1951, he quickly worked with school and Village officials to create after-school programs for the growing numbers of children and teens in the booming community. He developed numerous events for youth including numerous intramural events, the Canteen and similar programs that have been part of the Department’s programming for decades. Albert also developed two programs which he says are among his personal favorites - a Saturday morning adult basketball league as well as adult softball leagues for men and women. Park Forest honored him in 2012 by naming a softball field after him and by inducting him into the Park Forest Historical Society Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2016, he was certified as a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, Texas Society, as he is a descendant of Gideon Spencer who fought in the Revolution. Albert also enjoyed playing and watching sports, walking, travel, woodworking, bird watching, documenting his gasoline purchases (there was always a notebook in the car for the tracking), clipping coupons, and helping others. Remarkably, after retirement he set the record at Hendersonville (TN) Medical Center hospital for the most volunteer hours for his years of service. His gregarious, giving, fun personality was always on display for others and he loved to talk to just about anyone. He could make a friend quickly with his smile and ever-present sense of humor.
Albert was preceded in death by his parents Albert Marion Mann and Mildred Ruth Mann of Quincy, Illinois. He is survived by his spouse Doris Mann, daughter Sharon Lee Isley, daughter Lisa Harlow and spouse James Patrick Harlow, son Dwayne Mann and spouse Kelly Mann, stepdaughter Helen Goldstein and husband John Duensing, stepson Curtis Reifon and spouse Kathleen, and son Jason Mann and spouse Jennifer, ten grandchildren and three greatgrandchildren.
Our beloved husband and father died peacefully at home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his wife and family at his side. He will be interned near his parents at the Shelbina Cemetery, Shelbina, Missouri, per his wishes. May he rest in peace for eternity. Albert blessed us all with his smile, kindness, humor, and love. We will miss him, but never forget him and his powerful impact on so many lives. Albert Wayne Mann will be with us forever. We love you and we know how much you loved us. - Doris, Sharon, Lisa, Dwayne, Helen, Curtis, Jason
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
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