Obituary – Robert E. Manchester

Robert E. Manchester

Robert Manchester, born Nov. 1, 1944, in Richmond, Va., died Jan. 15, 2019, from complications of a brain hemorrhage caused by a blood vessel rupture.

Bob graduated from Brown University in 1966 and received his JD from the University of Colorado Law School in 1969. He was a hard-working and persistent attorney who could piece together case facts like a puzzle, apply legal theories in innovative ways, and set legal precedent that helped many Vermonters and others.

Bob partnered with numerous law firms and lawyers throughout his career, and was a sole practioner at Manchester Law Offices upon his death.

Bob’s glass was always overflowing, which enabled him to mentor and counsel his clients through tragedy and to always have new and big ideas, including a New Marshall Plan he wrote recently on how to improve the American economy.

Bob was a larger than life person with many interests. He could be engaging, funny, argumentative, demanding of attention, charming, insistent, self-focused and self-righteous, pig-headed and determined in his sense of fair play and justice, and determined in the types of cases he chose to pursue.

Bob demanded much of others, but often gave more in return. As a young man the sport he enjoyed the most was rugby. He was a player and coach until his mid-thirties having learned the game while an apprentice coal miner in England. He started the first rugby team at CU Law School and in Vermont.

He was an avid reader and remembered what he read, even decades later. His love for and sense of family led him to appreciate his military ancestors, including those who fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War and the Second World War. He was an incredible storyteller. Among his favorites were from his travels west as a young man, including when he acquired a record for the shortest ride aboard a bucking bronco in Dillon, Mont., where he worked as a firefighter.

He was a self-taught sailor. He mentored several Brown University football players and cherished their friendships.

Bob cared about and loved deeply his wife Judi and children Holt and Jessica. He felt their children had developed well, true to their own passions and talents. Bob had great love and respect for his son-in-law, Gerht Lubitz. His grandchildren brought him great joy, laughter and inspiration. He loved trying to stymie them with riddles and complicated words.

He was a committed romantic, determined to make his mark on the world, and believed that he or anyone could, with effort, achieve that end. Bob felt that even with 100 years to live, there would still be ideas to explore and dreams to pursue.

Bob is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judith Alling Manchester; his children Holt of San Francisco, Jessie (Gerht) of Cohasset, Mass.; grandchildren Jadon Espinoza Manchester (mother Keren Espinoza), Alling, Brandt and Henley Lubitz; twin sister Peggy Clark, sister Joan Slaney, brother John (Connie); sisters in-law Janet Alling and Cynthia Alling; nephew in-law Gordon Sewall, and many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank all the doctors, nurses and staff in the UVM Medical Center ICU, Neurosurgery, Neurology and Palliative Care departments for their dedicated, compassionate and professional care of Bob and the family.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held Saturday, April 13, at 10 a.m. at the UVM Alumni House in the Silver Pavilion, 61 Summit St., Burlington.

Bob served on the Visiting Nurse Association board for several years. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s name to Home Health and Hospice (formerly VNA), Home Care or Palliative Care, 1110 Prim Rd., Colchester, VT 05446 or to Brown University Sports Foundation/Men’s Rugby, Box 1925, Providence, RI 02912.

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