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Ronald G. Mans PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 07 February 2018 18:10

Ronald G. Mans of Port Washington was perhaps better known as Mr. Fix It.
    A largely self-taught carpenter, he worked on the restoration of the Port Washington Historical Society’s Light Station and numerous Habitat for Humanity homes in Ozaukee and Sheboygan counties, and he was known as the handyman of his church at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Port.
    “He was never one to sit,” his daughter Chris Baughman said. “He just so enjoyed helping other people. He was very generous and would so anything for anybody.”
    In a 2003 story in Ozaukee Press’ Transitions magazine, Mr. Mans was described as “a godsend” by Linda Nenn, who coordinated much of the work to restore the Light Station.
    “He’s just one of those people who says, ‘I’m here, how can I help?’”
    Mr. Mans logged more than 2,000 volunteer hours in a two-year period working on the restoration, and restoration committee co-chairman Rick Smith said, “I could use about 20 of him. I think he likes problem solving, and we’ve got plenty of those. I can give him a job and he’ll get right to it, and I can walk away knowing it’ll get done.”
    Mr. Mans died Thursday, Feb. 1, at Harbor Village in Port Washington. He was 85.
    He was born in Marinette on Sept. 8, 1932, the son of Charles and Elsie Thode Mans.
    He graduated from Marinette High School in 1950.
    He picked up the basics of carpentry from his father, and after graduation worked with a carpenter specializing in remodeling projects.
    “If I could have made a living doing it, I probably would have stayed at it,” he said. “It was a hot and cold thing. In the summer, there were so many jobs you couldn’t take a break, and in winter there weren’t any jobs.”
    On July 18, 1953, he married Betty Frederiksen at St. James Lutheran Church in Marinette. They settled in Marinette, moving to Port Washington in 1963.
    Mr. Mans served in the Navy for two years during the Korean War, then did carpentry work for another six months before working as a lithographer for Continental Can Co. in Milwaukee for 26 years. After another 12 years with Northstar Pint Group in Milwaukee, Mr. Mans retired in 1992.
    He then devoted himself to volunteer work, beginning with Habitat for Humanity in Sheboygan County and later working on the Light Station and Habitat’s Ozaukee County projects.
    It’s work that kept him young, Mr. Mans said.
    “It’s work but it’s not a job. That’s different,” he said. “I’m not required to be there, and that makes it much more enjoyable.”
     Mr. Mans enjoyed traveling to northern Wisconsin for fishing trips, his daughter said, adding, “Even up there, he would tinker with things.”
    He also enjoyed hunting and spending time with his family.
    Mr. Mans was a member of the Van Ells-Schanen American Legion Post 82 in Port Washington.
    Mr. Mans is survived by his wife Betty; son Randy (Karen) of Fox River Grove, Ill.; daughter Chris (Steve) Baughman of Brown Deer; and grandsons Nick and Alex Mans and Jason (Scott Luther) Baughman.
    He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Bob, sisters Lois and Dorothy and close friend Curt Laue.
    Mr. Mans’ body was cremated.
    A private family service will be held.
    Memorials are suggested to Christ the King Lutheran Church or Habitat for Humanity.
    Funeral arrangements were handled through Eernisse Funeral Home, Port Washington.

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