Obituary: Manix, Winnifred Ann
MANIX, Winnifred Ann
Winnie rejoined her beloved John on Thursday, July 12, 2012.
Winnie was born the youngest of six siblings on February 14, 1924 in Wenatchee, Washington near the cherry orchards and shores of Lake Chelan that graced the memories of her childhood. Her eldest sister Phyllis assumed the responsibilities of motherhood after the sudden death of their mother, Mary Elouise Moore Rudolph, when Winnie was only eight years old. Betty, Peg, John, and Alice rounded out the family.
Winnie’s experience growing up in the Great Depression forged enduring qualities of her life and person. Despite great hardship, she learned to view life with gratitude no matter the situation. She considered herself fortunate that her father Carl Stewart Rudolf was able to maintain a modest railroad office job during the hardest of times. She later regaled stories of dashing out of the fruit groves, with her sisters, laughing mischievously as angry orchardists hollered at them for once again getting caught “helping themselves” to a few cherries or apples. Winnie loved to recall the warm summer evening breezes of Wenatchee and sitting on the front porch with friends and family singing the songs of the era. Later in life, upon challenge by her grandchildren, she proved she could still sing the fight song of virtually any college or university in the country.
As a young woman during WWII, Winnie joined her sister Betty in Santa Barbara, CA and secured a job working for the local gas company. One evening at the fashionable El Paseo restaurant, she met “her guy,” John William Manix, a handsome infantry officer who was on stateside leave after being injured in combat in the jungles of New Guinea. Their love was immediate and resulted in a 63-year marriage. A photograph taken of John and Winnie that magical evening in Santa Barbara is perhaps the family’s most beloved heirloom.
The young couple moved to John’s hometown of Augusta, MT but eventually settled in Spokane some five decades ago. Winnie’s artistic spirit and love of beauty showed in the daily life she established for her family. She illustrated poems for her children, treasured the lilac, willow and mountain ash trees in her backyard, and delighted in the pots of vibrant flowers she assembled each summer. Among many others, the songs and melodies of Carmen, Madame Butterfly, Copelia, Leontyne Price and even Johnny Cash serenaded her household. She loved great literature, poetry, ballet, and PBS. She secured a wall sculpture of a Paris street scene to accent the gold and yellow tones of her home long before the piece gained acclaim as the work of C Jere.
Winnie’s aesthetic sense also showed in the attention she paid to her appearance. She took great pleasure in getting her hair done and pioneered the concept of a using a personal shopper, as she built relationships with the salespeople at her favorite stores. She was especially thankful to Nordstrom and the old Bon Marche for accommodating her penchant for exchanging purchases several times before she got it right.
As a lifelong Roosevelt Democrat, she enjoyed nothing more than cancelling out John’s reliably-Republican voting habits. Her keen interest in world affairs and sincere compassion for the human condition helped her make a difference in the lives of many. She was a great listener who made strong personal connections and always knew the right thing to say, often lacing it with sharp wit, irreverent observations, and always humor. Anyone who spoke to Winnie knew that she had seen them, heard them, and cared about them. Over the last four decades of her life, Winnie devoted countless hours working with others within the fellowship and spirit of anonymity.
Above all else, Winnie was deeply devoted to her husband, children, and grandchildren. She is survived by her daughter Sidney Butt and her husband Roger (Seattle); daughter Melissa Manix and her husband Steve Johnson (Seattle); son John Manix and his wife Carol (Cronin) (Spokane); daughter Mary Derby and her husband Mark (Spokane); her six grandchildren, Max, Sarah, Aran, Kellen, Maddy and Ethan; and her nephew Carl Clinesmith and his wife Judy (Bellingham); and numerous other nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the Chapel of The Three Companions at Gonzaga Preparatory School on Monday, July 16, at 6:30 p.m., E. 1224 Euclid. Following that service all are invited to attend a celebratory gathering at the home of Winnie’s son John. Winnie’s family extends its deepest appreciation to the staff of the Spokane Veterans Home for the professional, compassionate, and gentle care they game Winnie in her later years - and previously gave to John. In lieu of flowers, the family would commend the Veteran’s Home or the Alano Club of Spokane as worthy of memorials. Please sign Winnie’s online guestbook at www.hennesseyfuneralhomes.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to: