OBITUARY: Gary O. Manear

Gary O. (GO) Manear, 75, of Buhler, Kan., died on May 15, 2021. Born to Wiley and Edythe (Richardson) Manear of Thermopolis, Wyo., Gary grew up in Hutchinson, Kan., where he participated in Boy Scouts and became an Eagle Scout. As a young man, he was a car and motorcycle enthusiast. He also grew up under the tutelage of his father as a carpenter.

Gary married LaVon (Schroeder) Manear in 1965. They had two daughters, Christine and Natalie, and moved to Buhler, Kan., in 1969, where he operated Manear Auto Rebuilders in the early 1970s. His career spanned nearly 60 years, encompassing mechanics, auto body repair, carpentry, and restauranteurship. In the mid 1980s, he undertook the salvage of their original 19th century home on Maple Street and designed and built a passive solar home, which became the site of he and LaVon’s business, LaVon’s Bakery and BBQ. He and LaVon operated the business up to the present, where he enjoyed the company of their many patrons and friends.

Among his passions was Gary’s love of horses, which led him to a community of new friends. He appreciated the aesthetic and craftsmanship of all facets of horsemanship and was known for his Western flair. In middle age, he took on the re-education of Captain, a 10-year-old horse, who became his boon companion. Throughout this period, he continued to develop his aesthetic of inventive reuse of common materials. An avid reader, thinking and creating were two of the greatest joys of his life.

Gary is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, LaVon; daughters, Christine Manear Anderson (Ric), Natalie Manear Gaynor (Matthew); and three handsome grandsons, Sam Wiley Anderson, Joseph True Acuff and Wiley Neel Acuff, as well as Millie, his favorite cat.

Cremation is planned. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Memorials are suggested to St. Luke’s Heart Institute, Kansas City, Mo., in care of Buhler Mortuary, P.O. Box 589, Buhler, KS, 67522.

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