William “Bill” Mankin
February 12, 1930 – December 31, 2021
William “Bill” E. Mankin left this world on December 31, 2021, at the age of 91, having lived a very full life, with his wife by his side.
William E. “Bill” Mankin was born February 12, 1930, in Upton, Wyoming, to William R. “Buster” and Irma Lohman Mankin. Bill leaves behind his loving wife, Ann Mankin, of 30 years. Bill was the second of four children in the family, which included his sister Evelyn and brothers Harold and Jim. He graduated from Campbell County High School in Gillette, Wyoming, in 1948.
He then enlisted into the United States Air Force and was stationed at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. After being honorably discharged from the military, Bill attended and graduated from business school in Rapid City, South Dakota. He worked briefly as a salesperson for the Phillips Company before moving to Billings.
Bill enrolled in Eastern Montana College, where he studied engineering. On January 7, 1956, Bill married Mary L. Reynolds. To this union, four children were born: Gina, Bill, Mary and Tony. At this time, he applied for a job with the Montana State Highway Department and, after going back there every day for two weeks, Kenney McCracken told him to “come back tomorrow and bring a lunch box.” He did just that, making lifelong friends and creating many memories. After 30 years, Bill retired from the State of Montana.
Next, Bill and his brothers endeavored into the bar business. Bill purchased the Buffalo Chip Saloon in Fromberg in 1986. On December 22, 1991, Bill married Ann Saarela. To this union, Anna (Steve) Shafer, Wendy (Roy) Peterson, Shane (Peggy) Saarela and Pete (Courtney) Saarela joined his family.
After selling the Buffalo Chip Saloon, Bill went to work for his two sons at Mankin Construction Co. He continued to “show up to work” there every day well into his 80s. Over his 91 years, Bill enjoyed family gatherings, bowling, hunting with his brothers, sons, grandkids and nephews, fishing the Bighorn, woodworking and a friendly game of cards.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William R. and Irma Mankin; and his siblings, Evelyn (Larry) Lantz, Harold Mankin and Jim (Carol) Mankin; his son-in-law, James H. Albrecht, daughter Sherry Horton and his granddaughter; Lisa Mankin. He is survived by his wife, Ann Mankin; his children, Gina Mankin-Albrecht, Bill (Carrie) Mankin, Mary Beebe and Tony Mankin; 26 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews, Phil, Bill, Angie, Ann, Bob, Tom, Connie and Trish, as well as their children.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. A Celebration of Life will be held this spring.
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