Louis "Lou" Mantho
Louis P. Mantho, 73, of Fountain, went home to his heavenly Father on March 19, 2018 after fighting a courageous battle with cancer for the last two plus years. Lou was born January 6, 1945 in Chicago, IL to Peter L. and Mary M. (Naum) Mantho. Lou never knew his father as he passed away when Lou was the tender age of 18 months; but he was raised by a wonderful and gracious man who raised Lou as his own and the one Lou called "Dad", the late Thomas Trahey, the one who guided Lou into the man he became and we all loved.
Lou was raised in Allen Park, MI and graduated from Holy Redeemer Catholic High School. Lou held various jobs in Michigan and New York before he settled down in the Mason County area.
Lou became a member of the Mason County Sheriff's Office in 1992 when he became a volunteer with the Mason County Sheriff Reserves unit. In 1995, Lou moved up to Marine Patrol Deputy where he worked for a year before he was hired fulltime with the department in 1996 as a corrections officer. Lou worked in Corrections until the end of 2006 when medical issues was the deciding factor to retire from Corrections. In 2007, Lou decided he was not done serving his community and was back at Mason County Sheriff office once again as Marine Deputy, a job that he loved and gave all of himself to. He once again roamed the waterways of Mason County where he greeted the community from the lakes and parks and waterways with a smile on his face - happy to please and happy to do the job he so loved and was dedicated to do. Sadly in mid 2015, Lou was diagnosed with Neuroendcrine pancreatic cancer and was once again forced to give up a job that he loved and from serving his community. Lou fought back and was able to stabilize his health and decided he was ready to go back to work and continue to help and serve his community. Lou changed paths and in 2016, still wanting to serve his community and to be a part of giving and helping others, Lou went back to work at the Ludington State Park - a job that he did with pride and one that he grew to love. This was a job where he renewed friendships and made new ones; a job that brought much joy to him as he was once again giving back to his community. Lou loved serving his community and he took great pride in all that he had to offer and to give back to the community that he so loved and that stood by him.
Lou had such a kind hearted heart - no matter where he was he was helping others - at the homeless shelter, buying a meal for the homeless, giving words of encouragement, he could not turn his back on a person who needed help, education was always important to Lou and he encouraged the young to do their best and encouraged them to get their degree and make something of themselves.
Lou was so rewarded in his jobs at MCSO and LSP and by the many people he met and helped; Lou was a person who gave of himself and expected nothing in return. Lou was most happy when he was helping someone else and he always had that winning smile for everyone. Lou will be missed by all who knew him whether on the lakes, at the State Park, friends, family and all who he served.
Lou was a die-hard Detroit Tiger fan - never missing a game, Dale Earnhardt fan, and his beloved 56 Chevy car was his pride and joy and he loved the Woodward Dream cruises. Lou enjoyed music, kayaking, reading and most of all being with family. Lou liked to travel, he and Kelly would take annual trips across the US to various places and seek new adventures to wherever the roads took them; never knowing where they would end up.
Lou took his faith seriously and it was this everlasting faith in God that helped him down this road these last two years as he lived life to the fullest and made the best memories. He kept his family and friends close as we all traveled it with him and kept God in his presence with him. Lou was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church of Custer, MI.
Lou loved his family and was always in close contact with them - the joyful banter, the teasing, joking and laughing among them, the closeness and the love for each other will forever be etched in their hearts as he loved each of them deeply; his brother, Tom and sisters, Diane and Joanne.
Lou is survived by his loving companion of 18 years, Kelly Watters-Winters, her children, where he was such an intricate part of their lives as they were growing up, Jenn (Tony) Bragdon of Mt. Pleasant, MI, Rick (Brandy) Winters of Kill Devil Hills, NC, and Danielle (Steve) Chulski of Torrington, WY, and grandchildren who put the biggest smile on grandpa Lou's face, Morgan, Alexander, Kenzie, Bryson and Brady.
Also, survived by his brother, Tom Trahey of Bozeman, Montana, sisters, Diane (Stan) Carr of Portland, Oregon and Joanne Gordley of Fraser, MI; and his wonderful nieces and nephews who he loved and cherished with all his heart Sarah, Sienna, Cole, Cade, Connor, Haley, Brendan and Tom. His extended family who treated him like a brother and welcomed him into this large family and kept Lou on his toes - never knowing what to expect and kept him laughing. Kim (Andy) McIntosh, Leslie Watters, Jody (Dawn) Watters, Jim (Nannette) Watters, Jerry (Kris) Watters, Eric Watters, Danny (Kara) Watters, Mark Watters, Mindy (Mark) Arends, numerous extended nieces and nephews, and very special friends who were very important to Lou and always a part of his life - Lynn Kober, Pat Wojcik, Ray Cooke, Kathy Bromley, John and Edith Klein.
Lou was preceded in death by his parents, and his dad, Tom Trahey, sister, Linda Trahey-Ramirez, Kelly's parents, Ollie and Sue Watters, sisters-in-law Sondra Watters Thering and Holly Watters Nelson, and special friends Paul Bromley and Michael Barsoskey.
Lou always had a soft spot for Kelly's mother, and for kid's going to school and wanting to make a difference in their education. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Sue Ann Watters music scholarship foundation, Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation, PO Box 1283, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48804-1283 https://www.mpacf.org/watters/ to honor Lou's love of music and helping students achieve their education and dream.
A visitation will be held Friday, March 23, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a vigil service at 7:30 p.m. at the Oak Grove Funeral Home in Ludington. A Mass from the Order of Christian Funerals will be held Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. with visitation starting at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Custer. Father Dan DePew will preside.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home and Cremation Center of Ludington.