Bert Manthe, 87, of Independence, MO peacefully passed away Saturday, June 29, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family.
Services will be 2:00 p.m. Saturday, July 13, 2019 at Speaks Suburban Chapel, 18020 E. 39th St., Independence, MO 64055. A reception to honor Bert’s life will follow. Cremation. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to First Christian Church, 125 S. Pleasant, Independence, MO 64050; Crossroads Hospice, 14310 E 42nd St. S., Ste 600, Independence, MO 64055; or International Rescue Committee, PO Box 6068, Albert Lea, MN 56007-9847.
Hubert Franz Manthe was born February 7, 1932 in Brenkenhofswalde, Pommern, Germany to Artur and Hedwig (Runger) Manthe. After a childhood framed by the Hitler regime and overshadowed by war, his family became refugees, traveling north and west to Heide, then Hennstedt and later Espelkamp. After initially entering a farming apprenticeship, Bert left for the Krupps mine in Bochum at age 16, where he worked for two years, while making his plans to immigrate to the U.S. After spending a year working on a mushroom farm in Toronto, Canada, Bert received his Visa to enter the U.S. and arrived in Gravois Mills, MO on July 5, 1952, where he raised chickens with his sponsors Reinhold and Dorothy Hohn, whom he considered foster parents.
After a short stint at the University of Missouri, Bert was drafted into the US Army, serving throughout Germany and France, 1954-6. On December 16, 1954, while on active duty, Bert took the oath of Citizenship in Orleans, France. Upon his discharge and return to Missouri, Bert worked as a truck driver, delivering live chickens to KC area grocers, and enrolled at Central Missouri State College (now UCM), where he received his BS in Business in 1959.
While at Warrensburg, Bert met Oraleen Glispey; they married upon graduation and settled in her home town, Independence. Bert engaged in a variety of Business ventures over the next 50+ years, working for the Woolworth Company, JC Penny, and Western Electric, among many others. In the 1970’s Bert took over management and ownership of the Ben Franklin Stores in Independence, opening several others around the KC Metro over the years. Bert eventually sold the stores to focus more on his import company, KC Global, which enabled him to travel to Taiwan and China. After retiring from the import business, Bert enjoyed several years working with Speaks Funeral Homes. Bert was a member of the Optimist Club and American Legion, Post 21.
He is preceded in death by his parents, sisters Inge Manthe and Lieschen Chaverial, several nephews, and brother, Gunter Manthe, all of whom remained in Germany. Bert is survived by his wife of 59 years, Oraleen (Glispey) Manthe; daughter Lisa Manthe Peverill; granddaughter Hannah Peverill (David Dixon); grandson Will Peverill; Niece, Gaby (Siedletzke) Muller and two nephews, Thomas Manthe and Bernd Chaverial.