Community Mourning Passing of Michigan Swimmer, Coach Matt Mann III

Photo Courtesy: Daryl Marshke

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, June 21. THE aquatics community is mourning the passing of former Michigan swimmer and high school coach Matthew Mann III, who died peacefully on June 11 in his hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich., with family at his side.

Mann is the son of the legendary Matt Mann II, who guided the University of Michigan to six men’s NCAA swimming and diving team titles. The younger Mann was a part of his father’s final NCAA championship squad in 1948.

Following is the full obituary printed in the Ann Arbor News:

Matt Mann, a native of Ann Arbor, MI, and the son of the late Matt and Lea Mann, was born on October 3, 1927. He passed away peacefully at his home in Lansing, MI, surrounded by his family, on June 11, 2014.

Matt earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Michigan. While at school, Matt served as captain of the swim team, and was a four-time All American. The highlight of his swimming career at Michigan was not only as a member of the 1948 National Championship Swimming Team, but also his continued friendship and association with its team members. From 1946-1947, Matt served in the United States Army in Hawaii.

After graduating from U of M, Matt came to Lansing to teach at West Junior High School, and to coach the Sexton High School Swim Team. In later years, he taught social studies, and coached diving. He loved teaching in the classroom as much as coaching in the pool. Matt spent the first forty-six summers of his life at Camp Chikopi in Magnetawan, Ontario. There, he touched many lives as an administrator, a coach, and an example to hundreds of young athletes. It was, “up at camp” – a staple phrase in the Mann household and for many years to come – where he met the love of his life, Buffy (Evelyn Mary Stone Mann). Matt and Buffy were married on June 11, 1955 in Ann Arbor, MI. She will miss him very much.

In 1971, his fellow Michigan coaches awarded him the Bruce Harlan Award for coaching diving. For ten years in a row, a Sexton diver had qualified for the State Championships. In 1981, he was also awarded the Matt Mann Award, which was named for his father, for his outstanding contribution to high school swimming in Michigan.

Matt retired from Sexton High School in 1986; however, he remained quite active in the Lansing community as a cross country and track coach for the Sexton Girls’ team, and as a supporter of Habitat for Humanity. Matt assisted in the construction of over eighty homes in both Michigan and Florida. He very much enjoyed winters in Florida with his friends. At 84, Matt still sailboarded on the inland waterway and played competitive tennis – both at Court One in Lansing, and in Florida.

Matt will be missed by his sisters-in-law: Liz Hathway (Nick, deceased), Margaret Austin (Allen, deceased), Lois Stone (Bob, deceased), and Lola Stone (George, deceased). He was predeceased by his sisters: Connie Green and RoseMary Dawson (Buck, deceased). He will be lovingly missed, with knowing smiles, by his five daughters and their families: MaryLea and Edward Benson; Katie and Bob Korroch; Maureen Nauss and Charlie Swieringa, Michael Nauss and Bob Hoffman; Polly and David Middleton; Peggy and Dennis Fennema. Matt’s grandchildren: Michelle Benson, Kate Korroch, Chad Jewsbury, (Christopher, deceased), and Molly Korroch; Matthew Nauss; Abby, Matt and Carly Middleton; Allie, Silas and Samantha Fennema, will miss his stories, bear hugs, big sneezes, and sly smile.

Matt shared many good times and laughs with his cousins, nieces, and nephews on both sides of the family including Chick, Bob, and Kurt Muller, Connie Corson, and Marilyn Whitney. Matt was a longtime member of St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lansing, and very much enjoyed supporting the community there.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 21, 2014, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 218 W. Ottawa Street, in Lansing, MI. The family will receive friends from 3-5 and 6-8 p.m. on Friday at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s Music Program, The Michigan Cancer Society or Hospice of Lansing, Inc. whose staff cared for him with such grace.

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Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the host of several shows on SwimmingWorld.TV, including "The Morning Swim Show," which features interviews with people making headlines in aquatic sports. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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