William T. Mannix Sr., 64
LEE, Mass. — William Thomas Mannix Sr., 64, passed away on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at his home after a short illness.
He was born August 3, 1954, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and adopted as an infant by the late Thomas J. Mannix and Kathleen (Courtney) Mannix. He was raised in South Windsor, Conn., and the family spent summers on Lake Congamond in West Suffield, Conn. He graduated from East Catholic High School in South Windsor in 1972 and earned his BA from St. Anselm College in 1976.
Bill's professional career up to his retirement in 2017 was distinguished and he earned a multitude of awards. He began at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft before packing up and moving his family to Pittsfield, Mass., to take a job with General Electric in 1984. He spent many years at GE, worked for a time for United Technologies in Connecticut, then circled back to finish his career as an executive at GE in Schenectady, N.Y.
Bill was a unique character and one of the most caring people around. In his youth, Bill was a renowned expert and practitioner of the "quick-a-foot" behavioral modification technique. The list of impressions he could do were endless, ranging from the 3 Stooges to Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was a hockey goalie and coach, at both the high school and youth levels. In the 1983-84 season he coached his alma mater East Catholic hockey team to a Division II CIAC state championship. Anyone that played youth hockey in Pittsfield in the early 1990s will remember "Coach" Mannix, where he helmed a travel team alongside the late Joe Kamienski for several years, which included coaching his oldest son Bill Jr. and a group of devoted players too numerous to list. He loved the game but it was never about hockey; it was about passing along dedication, grit, discipline and unselfishness to his players.
He was also a musician and a good writer, and he loved photography. This served as inspiration to his son Bill Jr. to pick up the guitar at an early age, and his son James, who is an amazing photographer himself. Up through his college years he shot and developed many stunning black and white photos. Rumor has it that he once laid on the end of a runway at Bradley International Airport, with a Super-8 camera in hand, to film a 727 landing. This among various other interesting situations he found himself in during his college years. He loved motorcycles, homemade BBQ, hunting, fishing, golf, ultimate frisbee, football, and waterskiing. He was a self-proclaimed "fantastic dancer." He was extremely well-traveled to practically every major country. In the final years, nothing brought greater pleasure to him than being with his most favorite people, his grandchildren: Xavier, Odessa, and Nathan, who loved "Pa" so much.
Surviving are his sons, William Thomas Mannix Jr. and wife Amy of Lenox, Mass., and James Thomas Mannix of Hudson, N.Y.; grandchildren Xavier Thomas Mannix and Odessa Marie Mannix of Lenox, and Nathan Hatcher of Cabot, Vt.; former wife Dolores Mannix and husband Michael Sawyer of Chatham, N.Y.; brother John Mannix and wife Maria of Dover, Mass., and nieces Erin, Carolyn, Tia, and Emily; sister Eileen Cecchini and husband Fred of Vernon, Conn., and niece Kaytee and nephews Anthony and Vincent; sister Maura Hall and husband Gary of Goshen, Conn.; stepdaughters Kari Barschdorf and Jena Furforo; and the numerous Congamond cousins Carolyn, Ed, Dave, Julie, Steve, Joe, Ruth, Karen, Marlene, Michael, and Jack Mannix.
He was predeceased by his parents and cousin Dan Mannix.
Funeral notice: A Celebration of Life will be scheduled in June for family and friends in West Suffield, Conn. The family wishes to thank everyone for their outpouring of great memories.
Obituary Provided By: Kelly Funeral Home