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Spencer — Roger Leigh Pecena, 76, of Spencer died Friday, ...

Yolonda "Londie" and
Theodore "Ted" Manzer

Jun 21, 2022 (0)

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Atkinson — Yolonda "Londie" Manzer, 95, of Atkinson, died Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022 at the Good Samaritan Home in Atkinson.

Theodore "Ted" Manzer, 94, died Sunday, April 7, 2019.

Joint visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m. Friday, June 24, 2022 at the Seger Funeral Home in Atkinson.

Joint memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 24, 2022 at the funeral home in Atkinson.

Burial for both will be in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Atkinson with military rites for Ted provided by the Atkinson American Legion Farley/Tushla Post No. 86.

Cards and memorials may be made to the family for future designation and can be sent to their daughter Doreen Prussa at 616 Augusta Circle, Yankton, SD 57078.

Yolonda was born in Morenci, AZ on April 15, 1926 to Asunta and Solomon Baca. 

She met her husband Ted in Lordsburg, AZ in 1943 during World War II. He was being trained to be a fighter pilot and she was working at the PX. They knew each other for two weeks when they married. They were married for 76 years. 

After the war they moved to O'Neill. They also lived in Ainsworth before making their home in Atkinson. 

Londie is survived by two daughters Doreen (Ken) Prussa of Yankton, SD and Doris (Ken) Monson of Ogilvie, MN, one daughter-in-law Sally Manzer, seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one brother Gilbert Baca of Clifton, AZ.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Ted, one son Tim, two sisters Lori and Maggie and one sister-in-law Mary.   

The following was written by Dr. John Alden, a close friend of Ted's:

Theodore was born Oct. 1, 1924 in Winner, SD to James and Myrtle (Shurtlieff) Manzer.

Ted Manzer was, certainly by today's standards, a unique individual. He never asked or expected anything from anybody. A man, up to the very end who did things his way. He was a self-made man.

When Ted was a young boy he lost his father to a freak automobile accident. His mother, recognizing her need to provide for Ted and his sister, went back to school to obtain a teachers certificate. Ted and his sister were farmed out to various family members. Ted ultimately found himself with his grandparents on a small farm south of Springview. Times were tough and Ted was made aware of the burden his presence placed on these family members.

Ted's mother earned her teachers certificate and the family was reunited in O'Neill. Ted was blessed with a quick mind and unusual athletic abilities. He graduated from O'Neill High School as a scholar athlete where one of his track records stands today.

Ted met and later married Yolanda "Londie" Baca on Dec. 26, 1943 in Tempe, AZ. To this union three children were born Doreen, Tim and Doris.

America was at war when Ted graduated and he and other young men were faced with but one option. They could enlist in the armed services one day or be drafted the next. Ted had always been fascinated by the wonders of flight. He went to Omaha and took the exam for acceptance into the Army Air Corp. He passed the exam and was accepted into a program that was to influence the rest of his life.  

During the ensuing two years, Ted matriculated through a series of aviation programs ultimately receiving his aviation wings and was assigned to the 49th fighter group. He spent the next year and a half flying Lockheed Lightening P38's in America's fight against the Japanese. Ted was credited with three confirmed aerial victories and was awarded combat stars for all four of America's major campaigns in the Pacific as well as the Bronze Star for valor. He was flying cover over the U.S.S. Missouri the day the peace treaty was signed aboard that vessel ending the war in the Pacific and was in occupied Japan after the war ended. He was discharged with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Ted Manzer was a national hero. He was a member of a select club of individuals who have stood in harm's way in order to insure a way of life so many take for granted. Ted and others like him are heroes one and all, and our world is a lesser place with their passing.

 After his discharge from the military he and wife Yolanda and daughter Doreen moved to Ainsworth where he went to work for Consumers PPD now Nebraska Public Power District until he was transferred to Atkinson in 1959.

Ted was an avid hunter and fisherman all of his life. He was a well-known gun smith and reloaded many rounds of ammunition. He was a talented artist which not many people knew and could also imitate many different sounds.

One of Ted's great joys was the fact that each of his children had become independently successful and that whatever trials they might face in their lives they were equipped to deal with them. 

I asked Ted once about war and death, he responded with this lyric sung by his comrades in arms when a member of their fold was lost: 

"Beside a New Guinea waterfall on a bright and sunny day, beside his shattered P38 the young pursuer lay. His parachute hung from a nearby tree. He was not quite dead - so listen to the very last words the pursuer said. I am going to a better land where everything is bright, where whiskey grows on telephone poles and we play poker every night. There is not a single thing to do but sit around and sing and all our crews are women, so death where is thy sting."

Rest Well My Friend!

Ted was survived by his wife Yolanda (Londie) Manzer of Atkinson; children Doreen (Ken) Prussa of Yankton, SD, Tim (Sally) Manzer of Seward and Doris (Ken) Monson of Ogilvie, MN; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.  

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Irma Brown.   




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