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In Memory of David "Mel" Manthey


10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday April 16, 2022
River Falls Golf Club
2120 East Division St
River Falls WI, 54022

Celebration of Life

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday April 16, 2022
River Falls Golf Club
2120 East Division St
River Falls WI, 54022

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David “Mel” Gordon Manthey, age 72, from River Falls, WI passed away unexpectedly at Health Park Medical Center in Fort Myers Beach, FL on March 16, 2022.

Mel was born November 16, 1949, to Donald W. and Lucille M. (Wilson) Manthey in St. Paul, MN.  Mel is survived by his life partner, soulmate and best friend Deb Johnson; his brother Roger Manthey of Mendota Heights, MN; his adored niece/goddaughter Gina Manthey (Kurt) of Inver Grove Heights, MN; his “dog nephew” Jake; and his many, many great friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.

He graduated from Sibley High School in 1967 and went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from UW-River Falls.

Mel’s teaching career spanned over 30 years, starting in 1973 at Maiden Rock (8 years), Prairie View (1 year), and the remaining 22 years at Sunnyside Elementary.  Mel was both a teacher and principal at Sunnyside until his retirement in 2004; but his pride was forever with his school and students as he shared his passion for learning with many children (and their families) while forming long-lasting friendships over the years.

While teaching, Mel also had a 30-year career in the bar industry while serving as a bartender and bar manager.  He was employed at Lamplight, Coachman Supper Club, Shady Grove (owner), Williams Pub, and Clifton Hollow Golf Course. Mel easily connected with people and enjoyed spending time with the locals.

Since retiring in 2004, winters were spent in Fort Myers Beach, FL where he was able to enjoy the sunshine, golf, beach and meeting new people which only expanded his circle of friends.  Mel was on the Board and served as the President of Helen Lane Association for several years.

Mel had many interests which included family, friends, sports, cars (Corvettes/hot rods/GTOs), golf, and music (Pavarotti to Metallica). He was known to many for his quick wit, story/joke telling, pranks, sense of humor, phenomenal memory, big heart, kind phone calls, genuine caring nature and a special gift of not only seeing the good in people but bringing out the best in them as well. 

A Celebration of Life for Mel will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2022, at the River Falls Golf Club (2120 East Division Street, River Falls, WI 54022). Visitation 10-11am.  Service 11am with food/drinks to follow.

Arrangements coordinated by Gallaher Cremation in Fort Myers Beach and O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services in River Falls, www.oconnellfuneralservices.com, 715-425-5644

David "Mel"'s Tribute Wall

Tributes (2):

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  • Mr. Manthey was an amazing 5th grade teacher!! My favorite memories include getting quarters to get a pop from vending machine in the gym closet for helping him with something, getting to be the one to smack the chocolate oranges on the desk to open and share with the class, and the soccer leagues for the 4th and 5th grade girls.
    Thanks for making Sunnyside some of the best days of my childhood.
    You will be missed – but remembered!

    Olivia (Halls) Gavic

  • The world has lost one of the greatest Educators, Mentors & Friends the Ellsworth community has ever known. Both of my kids had the pleasure of attending Sunnyside with Mel. Absolutely one of the greatest Teachers and Mentors of their entire education career! There are not many who can even begin to fill Mel’s shoes with his compassion and mentoring his students. We feel so blessed to have had him in our lives. Even after he retired he would ask about them when you would see him in El Paso. We will miss you Mr. Manthey. You did a phenomenal job!!!! Much Love, Joe Kroll