Frederick John Mancheski, at age 92, passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening, August 1, 2018 at Connecticut Hospice in Branford, with his family and wonderful caregivers by his side. Fred was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin on July 21, 1926 and was the son of the late John and Luella Zwaska Mancheski.
Fred had a zest for life! Whatever he did, he did it with style and fun. He had charm! Everything he touched, he tried to make it the best he could. First and foremost, his family felt his love for them and they loved him back.
As the first-born of a large family, Fred had more jobs as a kid than his younger siblings, to earn 10 cents to go to the movies. This created his work ethic to succeed in life so he could enjoy the work he did! He spent his youth making model airplanes. A little known fact was his ambition to be a test pilot! He had an exciting, adventurous and fun spirit! An injury to his leg at age 14 made that impossible, so he took to the air in every kind of flying machine he could later in life, including hot air balloons and open cockpit antique bi-planes.
Fred put himself through college with many jobs, joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and graduated a mechanical engineer at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He married his college sweetheart and went right to work in Canton, Ohio with Timken Roller Bearing in their management program. He was so outstanding in management that McKinsey & Co. Consulting hired him to show other companies in trouble how to make a profit. This meant a move to Chicago and then to New York.
Fred always had a dream of running his own company, and it came true in 1963 when he was hired at Echlin Manufacturing Company in New Haven, CT. They manufactured automotive parts and needed a good mechanical engineer schooled in management. In one year, he became President, and in 1967 Fred was promoted to Chairman and CEO. Echlin flourished under Fred’s management, became Echlin Inc. and built a beautiful world headquarters on Long Island Sound in Branford. Echlin purchased companies around the world, was in Fortune 500, and Fred received so many accolades in that time, too many to list. A sample would be Automotive Man of the Year, Deputy Chairman of The Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit, Hall of Fame at Quinnipiac University. Upon his retirement from Echlin Inc. in 1997, Fred was appointed Chairman Emeritus.
Fred was on numerous boards around the country and devoted time to charitable organizations, some include The Young Presidents Organization (YPO), the World Presidents Organization (WPO); The Hospital of St. Raphael’s Foundation, Albertus Magnus College, University of New Haven and Quinnipiac University, Armstrong Rubber, Marlin Firearms, Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Co., Ulbrich Steel, New Haven Chamber of Commerce, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and many others.
How did he do so much? He always made it work. Travel played a big part in his life too, with plants all over the world. It enabled him to see the beauty of the world and he loved having his wife Didi share in those travels so they could be together.
After his retirement, he directed his energies to Connecticut Hospice and enabled the Echlin headquarters to become the home of Connecticut Hospice, with Fred as Chairman. Under his chairmanship, the CT Hospice became nationally and internationally renowned. In 2010 Fred retired from The Connecticut Hospice and became Chairman Emeritus.
This world is a better place for Fred having been here. He touched the lives of countless people who were grateful for his commitment to helping them in so many ways. He truly was a great man. His family will miss the mere joy of just being by his side, hearing his voice, and his famous whistle! And, the funny nicknames he had for everyone in the family.
Fred’s wife of 40 years is Judith “Didi” Knox Mancheski. He is the father of Mary Lou Mancheski, Laura Mancheski, Marcia Heffering (Richard), Bruce G. Mancheski (Patti), Amy F. Mancheski-Franco (Philip), Michele Evans (John). He is survived by two sisters, Ruth Komasa (Donald), and Mary Tech (Lawrence). Brother of the late Dorothy Valatka, Robert Mancheski (Dolly), and Skip Mancheski (Diane).Fred has nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life for Fred will be held next year.In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to CT Hospice, Inc., 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405.
Fred’s quote on Hospice Care: “We are all angels, but we have one wing, so we need each other to fly.”
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