Obituary of Robin Manker
Robin C. Manker, 68, of Chapin, died Tuesday, October 31, 2017, at his residence. He was born December 5, 1948, in Beardstown, the son of George R. and Betty Jeane Schnitker Manker. Robin married Karen Isom on March 18, 2008, in Ouray, Colorado, and she survives.
Robin is also survived by two sons, Bradley Manker of Memphis, Tennessee and Tyson Manker of Jacksonville; one step-son, Jeff (Susie) Lansaw of Jacksonville; two grandchildren, Alex and Eva; his step-mother, Marian Manker of White Hall, and six siblings, Bonnie (Rodney) Wallace of Jacksonville, Vicky Smith of Houston, Fred Manker of Springfield, Brenda (Judson) Hawk of White Hall, Bob Manker of Literberry, and Julie (Collin) Brennan of Springfield; and numerous nieces and nephews. Robin was preceded in death by his mother and father, and one sister, Betty Jane.
Robin was a graduate of Jacksonville High School (’67) and Illinois College (’71, Phi Beta Kappa), where he played varsity baseball and basketball. He went on to earn his master’s degree in mathematics from Miami University of Ohio (’73) before beginning his nearly 40-year career as an educator in Jacksonville. Robin first taught mathematics at Armstrong Junior High School, and then math and computer science for many years at Jacksonville High School. After retiring from School District 117, Robin taught several more years at his alma mater, Illinois College.
Robin was a gifted educator. Whether he was teaching math or computer science to a student, coaching local youth baseball and basketball teams, or helping his children and grandchildren learn how to fish, Robin was always patient and loving. His desire to learn and create made him a lifelong inventor. From weed-less fishing bobbers to educational software, Robin constantly looked for new ways to innovate and improve. He realized a childhood dream when, despite his colorblindness, he earned his flight wings and pilot’s license at the Jacksonville Municipal Airport. Robin was also granted a United States Patent (#4,742,620) for inventing a hardware and computing system that used math and physics to balance bowling balls, which he and his brother, Robert, named “CompuBalance” —later “Phoenix Ball Balancing.” A lifelong bowler with numerous perfect 300 games, Robin was a member of the United States Bowling Congress and the Jacksonville Bowling Hall of Fame. Along with fellow retired JHS teacher Dick Anthony, the Anthony/Manker math lab at Jacksonville High School is named in his honor.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2017, at Williamson Funeral Home. The family will meet friends from 11 a.m. until the time of service Saturday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the Jacksonville Youth Bowling League, which will soon be renamed the Robin Manker Youth Bowling League, or High Ground Veterans Advocacy, which supports military men and women. Condolences may be left online at www.airsman-hires.com.