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Joseph C. Manzinger, Sr. passed away peacefully on Friday, June 15, 2018 two days shy of his 89th birthday. For someone who didn’t like vegetables or to exercise routinely, he lived a long and fulfilling life. The secret was that he was a wonderfully optimistic man who saw the best in everyone and always saw the glass half-full. Joe was born June 17, 1929 in Abington, PA, the youngest of three boys born to Louis and Lillian (Daler) Manzinger. When Joe was barely 21, he was set up on a blind date with Elizabeth “Betty Jean” or BJ Snyder. With her father’s permission (she was only 20) they married in 1950 before Joe left for Korea. Joe was a Corporal in the U.S. Army serving as an MP in Korea from 1951-1952. He was the recipient of the Commendation Medal for driving his Jeep, with a superior officer, through dangerous territory while taking fire. With BJ stateside, Joe dutifully sent his new bride cash that he was unable to spend. It turned out to be his poker winnings. Apparently, Joe was pretty good because the couple bought a new car when he returned from service. The love of cars and poker continued throughout his life. Upon his return from Korea, he became a postman and later sold life insurance. But his gregarious nature and love of cars led him back to the automotive industry. He often worked six days a week, working his way up from used car sales, to dealership management and later corporate sales and marketing. He also served as Vice President of Administration for the Pittsburgh Automobile Trade Association (PATA). Joe worked for Chrysler, Dodge, Renault-Peugeot, Volkswagen, Porsche-Audi and finally Nissan. He had a colorful collection of sport coats and a ready handshake for anyone who walked near. A true car salesman, he could strike up a conversation with anybody, a trait that made him a great conversationalist. In his retirement, he was the person you wanted to sit next to at dinner.
Joe leaves behind his beautiful wife of 67 years, Elizabeth (Snyder) Manzinger. Together they have two children; Joanne Ulrich (Steve) of Marysville, PA and Joseph C. Manzinger, Jr. (Cheri) of Marshall Township. All who knew Joe, also knew the names of his three grandchildren; his name sake – Joseph C. Manzinger, III or “Joey”, Mike and Sarah Manzinger – who were often the dinner-time subject and a grandfather’s pride and joy. On family vacations, “Pap Pap” was the dealer in the no-stakes poker game, calling out the possible hands as each card was turned over.
Joe is also survived by his eldest brother, Robert (Sally – deceased) Manzinger of Warminster, PA and their children; Rob, April and Joy. In addition to his parents and his sister-in-law, he is preceded in death by his brother Norman Manzinger.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Masonic Village. Joe and BJ were “giddy” to be able to retire there in 2004. Over the years, Joe benefitted from each level of care. The friendships they developed and the kindness, care and compassion of the staff and employees have been a gift to the family.
A memorial service will be held later this summer at the Masonic Village in Sewickley. Inurnment will take place in the future at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies with full military honors. Joe was a member of the following Masonic bodies: Bethel Lodge No. 761 F&AM, 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, Syria Shrine and the Wm. Slater, II Master Masons Club at Masonic Village. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in his name to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Arrangements by Copeland Funeral Homes.