By HDN Staff
FAIRFIELD Charles "Rex" Manuel, 69, a retired Fairfield Bench farmer and state political figure, died Monday, June 5, 2000, at a Great Falls hospital following complications from heart surgery.
Funeral services are 11 a.m. Friday at the Fairfield High School Gymnasium with burial following at Sunset Hills Cemetery. Public viewing will be held Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church.
He was born June 11, 1930, in Lewistown to Archie and Minnie Manuel, who homesteaded near Winnett.
The family moved to a farm on the Fairfield Bench in 1935. Manuel graduated from Fairfield High School in 1948 and married Jeannine DePratu in Fairfield on October 3, 1948.
Manuel farmed on the family farm, winning the Outstanding Farmer of the Year award in 1962, and retiring in 1990.
Manuel was active in state politics, and had been serving as Fairfield's mayor since 1998. He was elected to the Montana House of Representatives in 1973, where he served until 1989. He was elected as Speaker Pro Tem for the House, and also served as chairman of the Legislative Council and was appointed to the Montana Board of Crime Control. In 1990, Gov. Stan Stephens appointed Rex to the Public Service Commission to fill the unexpired term of Clyde Jarvis. Manuel had also been a lobbyist at the Legislature in the last several sessions.
Rex was very active in Lions Club, and served as District Governor in 1989-90. He was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, and served many years as a board member and Sunday school teacher. He was a main force behind the building of the Fairfield Community Hall in 1969, and served on that board for many years. Other boards he served on were the Teton County ASCS, Greenfield Community Federal Credit Union, and Teton Heritage Society.
Rex enjoyed traveling with his wife and friends, family gatherings, farming and politics.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Gene; and son, Robert.
He is survived by his wife Jeannine of Fairfield; daughters, Vickie Jacobsen and Barb Rapp both of Havre, Jane Larson of Seattle; son Mike Manuel of Fairfield; daughter-in-law Kelly (Manuel) McInerney of Fairfield; 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Memorials are suggested to the Fairfield Community Hall or to St. Paul Lutheran Church.
Croxford & Sons Funeral Home of Great Falls is in charge of arrangements.