In Memory

Blanche McManus (Taft)

WHITEFISH - Blanche McManus-Taft, 95, passed away on Jan. 1, 2001, at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish. She was born in Eureka on March 30, 1905, to Jack and Mae Murray McManus.  

Services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Eureka. Rosary will be 7 p.m. Friday.  She was a life long member of the Catholic Church.

Taft earned her BA from Western Montana College in 1939 and her master's degree from the University of Washington in 1955. She was an educator in Montana for 48 years. She taught at rural schools in Lincoln County and ended her career as professor of English emerita at Western Montana College.

Upon retirement, Taft enjoyed sewing, gardening and her family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Duane Taft; brother, Frank Graves.

Survivors include her sister Leona Lenarz; stepsons David and Bruce Taft; nephew Jack Graves; nieces Carol Workman, Chris Lucero and Jan Corneiluson; numerous great-nieces and great-nephews; great-great-nieces and -nephews; and sister-in-law Clara Graves.

Arrangements are by Nelson and Vial Funeral Home in Eureka.

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09/17/09 12:37 PM #1    

Joe White (1958)

Miss McManus, perched at her desk, repeatedly scrutinized the entire 1954 freshman English class, but I found her eagle-eyes entirely too often stopping to study me at length. It was unnerving, and I could not imagine any sin I had committed to deserve such attention. After a week or two, she caught me staring back one day and said, "Young man, I'm sure I know you from somewhere." "No, Miss McManus, we've never met before. I'm sure of that." Determined to solve the mystery, she pressed me for information about my Dad, then Mom.
"What's your mother's maiden name?" "Her name was Pearl Foss." "That's it!" she cried. "You resemble your mother. I taught her at Eureka High School. Be sure to tell her to come and visit me." Whew, I thought, so I haven't found trouble, after all. Miss McManus' burning curiosity was satisfied, and I was once again at ease. Those menacing eagle-eyes turned--forever after--warm and friendly.

09/23/09 02:54 PM #2    

Kelly Holtz (Gates) (1980)

When I went to Western Montana College in the fall of 1980, the first night they had freshmen orientation. The freshman and their parents were invited to meet the professors. I walked in with my Mom and Dad (Fred & Helen Holtz) and Blanche Mcmanus grabbed my Dad by the hand and said "Do you remember me Freddie, I taught you English in Sunburst?". My dad told her he remembered her and introduced me to my new Freshman English professor. Miss McManus was a great English teacher and become a good friend of mine. The other kids in my English class would tease me because if I happened to be going to Sunburst for the weekend, she would give me a hug and a kiss before I left class. They called me a Teacher's Pet. I guess maybe I was, but I was proud to be her Teacher's Pet because she was a great lady.

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