I’m sad to announce that Pat McManus died on Wednesday evening, April 11, 2018. He retired from writing several years ago, and his health was declining. He passed away in a nursing facility in Spokane, WA.
His humor and stories have brightened the lives of millions of readers over the course of his writing career. I have received many emails from fans expressing their gratitude and telling how his stories have helped them in dealing with PTSD. Many fans tell of the bonding experiences of their families over generations as they read his stories together. Sharing his stories has been a favorite part of my own family’s gatherings for many years.
Over the years I’ve had McManus fans ask me to pass on to Pat their gratitude for his stories and how they have impacted their lives.
In difficult times in my own life I’ve turned to his stories to lift my spirits, and I knew I couldn’t be the only one. So I was glad to hear from a Vietnam war veteran who told me Pat’s stories helped him through periods of PTSD. I had already created this design and it’s good to know it resonates with his fans:
I wanted to share with you a recent email from one of our McManus fans:
Dear Mr. McManus,
You don’t know me. But I grew up hearing your stories. My name is Chris Blotevogel, my father Eric was a Royal Ranger Commander (a Christian Boy Scout group). He read your stories not only to me and my brother, but to countless young boys across the state of Oklahoma.
I’m not sure if you read your fan mail, but wanted to let you know that my father was one of your biggest fans. If I had a dollar for every tear he shed reading “the night the bear ate goombaw” or “cigars, logging trucks and know-it-alls”, I’d be a rather wealthy man.
Words can’t express how much joy and happiness I saw in my father’s eyes when he read your stories from his death bed, it was a Fine and Pleasant Misery.
I’m not sure how much it’s worth, but I’d like to thank you. Your creative stories have brought laughter into many homes, including my childhood home and now the home I raise my own children in. I’m sure I bore my children even now when we’re on road trips and they see me break out a paperback book. Keep up the amazing work, I look forward to your emails.
Sincerely, Chris. B
It’s a Sunday morning as I write this, nice and quiet, and now it’s time to go and read a few McManus stories…
From time to time I have fans express their gratitude and love for Pat’s stories and ask about him, wishing him well, and wonder if there are going to be any more books coming out. I forward your letters and emails on to him. Here is the latest information I have.
In 2014 Pat announced that he would be retiring from writing and public life and his official website would no longer be maintained. Up to that time it was managed and maintained by one of his daughters, with both Pat and his wife, Darlene (or Bun as she is known in his stories) writing monthly blogs. They also offered items for sale and links to sites of interest to his fans—including The McManus Index and the one-man plays based on his stories by actor Tom Behrens, as well as lots of information for writers. Before the website closed they mentioned a desire to compile and publish the blog posts, but I haven’t heard anything more about that.
Pat stopped writing the “Exit Laughing” column for Outdoor Life in 2011 and devoted his writing efforts to the Sheriff Bo Tully mystery novels, the last of which appeared in 2014.
Also in 2014 there were a couple new stories printed in Outdoor Life, but beyond that it’s been quiet as the McManus’s are hopefully enjoying their retirement and return to private life.