Lester J. Mann

Lester J. Mann, 65, of Wayne, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019, after an extended battle with cancer.

A funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wayne on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 10:30 a.m., with an interment service in Pendleton, Ore. at a later date. 

Donations may be made to Trees, Water, & People or the St. Augustine Indian Mission in Winnebago. Les’s family also encourages his friends to remember him by planting an oak tree this spring.

Lester J. Mann was born April 30, 1954, in Pendleton, Ore., the fourth child of William and Katherine (Hathaway) Mann. Les married Debra Kennedy on June 21, 1975, and earned a B.S. in Journalism from University of Oregon in 1976. 

After honing his professional craft in Festus, Mo., Les and Deb moved to Nebraska in 1980, where he built a career in community journalism in Chadron, Wayne, Norfolk, and Broken Bow. He was inducted into the Nebraska Journalism Hall of Fame in October of 2019. 

Les and Deb had four children, Erin of St. Charles, Mo., Ethan (Tracy Finney) of Centennial, Colo., Elysia (Jon Noble) of Knoxville, Tenn., and Emlyn (Cody Long) of Papillion. 

Les completed RCIA in 1981 and was a devout Catholic for the rest of his life. He had a playful and infectious sense of humor and an unfailing moral compass. He particularly embraced restorative environmental justice, spending much of his leisure time planting trees and tending the land on the family acreage. When not working outdoors, Les enjoyed traveling with his family, listening to St. Louis Cardinals games on the radio, and sampling varieties of scotch. 

Survivors include his wife and children; his sister Kathie (Terry) Fox, seven grandchildren, and nine nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Roger and Hartley and his parents-in-law Donald and Janice Kennedy.

The Wayne Herald

Mailing Address:
114 Main Street
Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600

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