Fred Manfred Jr.
Frederick Manfred Jr., loyal longtime resident and writer from Southwest Minnesota and Southeast South Dakota, died on June 12th, 2016, at Dougherty Hospice in Sioux Falls. The son of author Frederick Manfred and Maryanna Shorba Manfred, he was born in Minneapolis on February 6, 1954, and lived in Luverne, MN, most of his life.
Raised in the family home which eventually became the Blue Mounds State Park Interpretive Center, he was a graduate of Luverne High School, where he was student body president and an All State Athlete (Or as his nephews have said, “We’re not sure if he ever missed a free throw in his life.”). Fred received his B.A. in Mass Communication from the University of South Dakota, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He also played first base for the baseball team, and was the only player who made no errors over a four year stint.
From 1977 to 1979 he was a features writer and sports editor of the Rock County Star-Herald, where he won numerous national awards for his sports column, The Spirit Of Sports. He also managed a three month tour by the South Dakota College All-Star Basketball Team through thirteen European countries and the Soviet Union.
Later in his life he wrote a personal column for the Star-Herald, and also wrote a play, Tongues Of Stone, about the settling of Southwest Minnesota, which was performed at Blue Mounds State Park. He was also president and member of the Luverne Green Earth Players. He was a lifelong advocate and contributor to the Arts and Humanities, the environment, the Legal Advocacy for Older Americans, and the Luverne Backpack Program in Southwest Minnesota.
In late 1980 while attending the University of Ottawa for a graduate degree in journalism, Fred’s battle with renal failure began. After the loss of his kidneys, he moved to Santa Barbara, CA, where he became the face of dialysis patients’ battles to receive the first-ever doses of Epogen, a life-saving drug. He received a kidney transplant in 1981, which he lost a month later; so he lived on dialysis until he received another kidney transplant in 1992, which lasted for nine years. In 2001 he again began dialysis in Sioux Falls.
With more than two decades of dialysis experience, Fred became a treasure chest of information for other dialysis patients and health care providers. Highly educated, with a gift for words and a love of humor, Fred was sought after by patients, nurses, and doctors who had questions ranging from the significant side effects, both physical and emotional, to the simplest of issues. He presented patients’ perspectives at National Kidney Foundation functions and was a board member of a national patient advocate group. His handling of renal disease was the epitome of courage and compassion.
Fred is survived by his sisters, Marya Manfred of Worthington, MN, Freya Manfred and her husband, Thomas Pope, of Stillwater, MN, and their sons, Nicholas Bly Pope and Ethan Rowan Pope of St. Paul.
A celebration of Fred’s life will be held at the Palace Theater on Saturday, June 25, 10 a.m. All are invited to remember his life and work. Pastor Dennis Olson of the Princeton Theological Seminary will read and speak, as well as Joel Christensen, other friends, and the Manfred family.