FARGO - John George Manesis, 85, passed away peacefully at home in Fargo, North Dakota on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. John and his fraternal twin, George, sons of Nick and Mary (Pikios) Manesis, were born on September 19, 1936, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Nick was the proprietor of the Dor Smith Cafe in Eau Claire for many years until the family moved to Denver, Colorado in 1950. John graduated from Denver East High School in 1954, Denver University in 1958 and Creighton Medical School in 1962. John met his wife, Bess, in 1959 while he was in medical school and she was at St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Omaha. They were married on July 7th of 1960. They were blessed with two daughters and two sons who all became, in his words, “good citizens.” John took his internal medicine training in Omaha, Nebraska and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California from 1966-1968 where he was assigned to the Naval Hospital. He then practiced in internal medicine in Appleton, Wisconsin from 1968-1971. From 1971 to 1974, John made a career change and completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. John then practiced at the Fargo Clinic (later MeritCare, now Sanford) from 1974 until he retired in 1996. John loved poetry and began writing his own poems in his 50s. His work appeared in well over 1oo literary publications, including many anthologies. He published nine books of poetry on a variety of topics near to his heart, including his Greek heritage, his experiences as a physician, baseball, and cats, reflecting John’s broad interests. In addition to poetry, John wrote and published a children’s book. He collected memorabilia for much of his adult life, including stamps, old signs, posters and baseball cards, and prized his ’47 and ’48 Seeburg jukeboxes which played 78RPMs. John, a consummate storyteller, had a wit and humor that kept people smiling and laughing. He was an active listener who took a keen interest in others from all walks of life. A generous and compassionate man, and a dedicated husband, father, brother, uncle, and friend, he touched many lives. After John’s diagnosis of cancer, he commented on a few occasions, “C’est La Vie,” reflecting his philosophy on life. He pursued his passions, lived with no regrets and was grateful for his rich, fulfilling time on this earth. John kept busy with his New York Times crossword puzzles, poetry, golfing and volunteering (as a tutor in English as Second Language). And he spent his retirement days with his family, friends and beloved family cat, Cleo, sitting on his lap. John is survived by his wife of 61 years, Bess Davis Manesis, Fargo; daughters Mary, Los Angeles, California and Stephanie, Fargo; sons George (Tanya), Richfield, Minnesota and Peter (Lisa), Iowa City, Iowa; twin brother George (Georgia), Kenosha, Wisconsin; sister JoAnn, Austin, Texas; sisters-in-law Stacey Manesis, Muskego, Wisconsin, Chris Manesis, Madison, Wisconsin, and Mary Bomar, Fremont, Nebraska; goddaughter, Simbo Legesse, Shakopee, Minnesota; and many beloved nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his brothers Dale, Pete and Danny and his sister-in-law Dina (Dale’s wife) and brother-in-law, Harry Bomar (Mary’s husband). John and Bess’ primary residence was in Fargo, although they spent winters in Sun City, Palm Desert, California, where they are members of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Palm Desert. They are also members of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Fargo. An Eastern Orthodox Funeral Service will take place at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in North Fargo on Tuesday, October the 26th at 11AM. Please wear masks to the funeral service. Burial to follow and then a luncheon at Plains Art Museum in Fargo at approximately 1:30 PM. The funeral will be livestreamed and recorded at www.boulgerfuneralhome.com. Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed by visiting John’s obituary at https://boulgerfuneralhome.com/obituaries/dr-john-manesis/ In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to your charity of choice.

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  1. Theo John,

    I have tears in my eyes. You will be sadly missed. I will miss the stories, the history of Greeks in Eau Claire, the sarcasm, the politics, and the annual trips to Palm Desert for that cigar and Roditis.

    Love always – Nick

  2. I was fortunate to work with Dr. Manesis as a radiologic technologist and learned much from him. He was always respectful in his teaching and demonstrated patient care at its finest. I was so happy to reconnect with him this past year as I was able to thank him for his support during the early part of my health career. I will treasure that time with him. My condolences to his family.

  3. So sorry to hear the passing of Dr. Manesis.
    I was a CRNA and loved it when I came to Radiology to assist in procedure and provide anesthesia for his patients. Such a kind hearted man. John always made an effort to talk to me and later in retirement he would see me and want to have a conversation. One of the good guys!
    He will be missed.
    My condolences to his family: So sorry for your loss.
    Ralph Holte, retired CRNA

  4. Dr. Manesis shopped our former package store, Pop-Eye’s in Moorhead, back in the 80’s. An engaging gentleman for whom we would bring in Greek wines. He educated us about those, history and cuisine. I so enjoyed the visits.

  5. Mary and Stephanie,
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    My deepest Sympathy to you and your family.
    Praying for God’s Peace to comfort you during this difficult time.
    In Peace,
    Lois

  6. A heartfelt sadness has overcome me. As a child he was Dr. John when he was a Navy doctor living across the street, and as kids we played together. As I grew older I knew him as John, my fathers best friend, golf and fishing buddy. He was also one of the most intelligent and wise men I have ever met. He will be missed by all who ever met him. Prayers to the entire family.

  7. Beth and Stephanie,
    I am so sorry for your loss. He sounded like a very wonderful husband/father. Even though I didn’t know your husband/dad you ladies have been not just clients but friends. And when people you care about grieve, you grieve with them. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Bess, Mary, Stephanie, George and Peter,

    I was deeply saddened to hear of John’s passing. I will always remember his wonderful stories, his warmth, kindness and generosity. I am truly blessed to have known him.

  9. Mary and Stephanie,
    I never had the opportunity to meet your father and that’s my loss. It sounds like he led a remarkable life and touched many people in many different ways. My condolences to you at this difficult time in your lives.
    Don Dumais

  10. So sorry to hear of John’s passing. My thoughts and condolences to the family. I will always remember the kindness and uplifting inspiration shown to me. Rest in peace.

  11. Stephanie and Family…
    I’m so very sorry for your loss of your father. May GOD’S love & comfort hold you closely at this difficult time. Remember all the wonderful memories you shared together… that will carry you thru until you are together again on the otherside.
    Lovingly,
    Julie Ann Walvatne & Family

  12. We are saddened to learn that John has passed away. Our St. George community in Palm Desert will miss him very much. John was such a kind and caring man. We enjoyed his poetry readings and books. May God Grant Bess and his family peace. May his memory be eternal.

  13. My condolences to the Manesis family. I still have the book of poetry Dr. Manesis gave me.
    Sincerely,
    Dr. Andy McLean

  14. Heartfelt thoughts out to the family, so sad to hear of Dr Manesis’ passing. I have known him since his coming to Fargo Clinic in the mid ‘70’s. He was a delightful personality & a wonderful talented radiologist. Since his retirement, I have had the pleasure to bump into him on occasion. Such a joy to reminisce with him.

  15. Bess,Stephanie, Mary, George and family I am sorry for your lost. John was to me my second father i felt like him and bess adopted me. He not only shared his writings, poetry and books he wrote. He shared his lovely family with me you will be greatly missed im sorry I couldn’t be there love you all

  16. I had the pleasure to work with Dr.Manesis as a Radiologic Technologist. He was a kind caring Doctor and was always willing to take the time to teach. Rest In Peace. My sympathies and prayers for his entire family.

  17. I considered John as a true friend. We enjoyed golf, having lunch at the Radisson(John’s favorite for lunch and breakfast. Enjoyed any conversations over coffee in the morning at the hospital cafeteria. He will be missed

  18. Uncle John.

    I am so lucky I got to meet you. I will never forget the time I spend with you in Palm Springs. I will forever remember and cherish our conversation. I will miss you terribly. I will forever keep your books and pass them on to my grandchildren.
    May you Rest In Peace Theo mou.
    With tears and a broken heart. I say KALO TAXIDI 🌹🌹❤️❤️
    Elizabeth Manessis

  19. Dear Manesis Family,

    My deepest condolences for loss of Uncle John. We all adored your dad.

    Thinking of you during this time.

    Love,
    Georgette

  20. I did not know John but I have known Bess for 64 years thus there is a Love of the two that was very apparent through Bess and the Love was of Family, so beautiful.
    My sincere sympathy to Bess and the Family. I know God is looking over you and He will help you work through the absence of John.

  21. Dearest Bess:

    I am so sorry. When I saw he passed I re-read his poems. His obituary tells the story of a person who lived a life to its fullest. I know you were a wonderful partner who walked right beside him every step of the way. Carrying you in my heart…. Jana Peterson

  22. I will miss you, Theo John. My heartfelt condolences go out to you, Thia Bess and family. I share this poem from his book “Please Remember Us”. Translated for our (great)grandfather, Nikolaos Pikios: “His Own Epitaph” “Ahma elthie o thanatos, kai mai valoune sto mavro homa, thelo na xeroute, paidakia mou, tha sas ayapane kai to kokalakia mou akoma. As soon as death comes, and they lay me in the dark earth, I want you, my children, to know my bones will go on loving you.” “αιώνια η μνήμη. Memory eternal. May your spirit live on forever by your loving actions and through your poetry that you shared with us all. Sending love and light, Dimitra and Bob, Maia and Sam

  23. Our sincere condolences. John will be remembered by all of us with warm feelings! Our love and thoughts are with you!

    The Spiliadis’

  24. I knew John first through his writing and contribution of two poems,” Birthdays” and “II Orphan Train,” in my adoption anthology, “Touched by Adoption.” That was the beginning of a special friendship. John gave a reading of his other works both in our Santa Barbara home and our Scottsdale home. He and Bess spent the night with us in Santa Barbara and a lovely friendship grew over the years. We will especially miss him and miss seeing Bess, two wonderful, dear people, as now we live in Ashburn, VA.
    A spirit like John’s is never gone, as we all know. His poetry will be treasured for years to come. He enriched all of us with the amazing depth of his friendship, wisdom, and artistry. May His Light forever shine upon John.

  25. George, my condolences to you and your family. I had little interaction with your dad, but have a fond memory from high school. The three of us were watching boxing, possibly on Wide World of Sports. Your dad was giving verbal advice to one of the boxers that went back and forth from “Get in there and jab” to “Don’t get cocky now”. I remember that we chuckled about that for some time. May the good times and your faith sustain you and your family.

  26. Dear Bess, Mary, Stephanie, George & Peter,
    We are so sad that John has passed. He was a bright star on this earth and all of my family loved him. I’m so happy that we had the opportunity to visit with him this past spring. I know he didn’t feel well, but he put on a smile and had a few funny stories, as always to tell.
    I imagine him fishing with my Dad right now, two happy campers.
    We will be with you in heart and spirit tomorrow.

    Love from the Kniss’ and Kenner’s

  27. To my dear friend of may years may God bless you and comfort your family in this difficult time. This is truly a great loss of an amazing friend and fantastic person.

  28. Although I didn’t have the privilege of extensive interactions with Dr. Manesis, I am blessed through him just the same because he was the wonderful father to my dear friend, Stephanie.

    Stephanie, Mrs. Manesis, and other Family:

    This is a terrible loss and I grieve with you. The time will come for focusing on the positives –a life richly lived, etc.– but first, I sit with you in spirit as you mourn someone so dear.

    May the promise of Eternal Life and future reunion comfort your hearts!

    With Love,

    Laura

  29. Hi John,
    This message is to you. I know God will let you read this as you linger on this earth and watch the people and lives you were so a part of. My brother a generation apart you were, but that didn’t matter as I shared many sweet memories growing up with your kids, my nieces and nephews. I love you and know we will be together in heaven some day. Thank you for inviting me to visit your and Bess this past March as I had Spring Break vacation. The Italian restaurant, the pool, your back porch newspaper reading picture you said I could capture, and Cleo. Goodbye but only for now . Sweet steps to paradise, a place no words can describe.
    Love now and always.
    Your sister,
    JoAnn

  30. Bess, Stephanie, Mary, Peter, and George:

    Words cannot really convey how sorry I am for your loss. I am so grateful that I got to know John during my friendship with Stephanie. My heart goes out to you during this difficult time.

  31. Working at the Fargo Clinic/MeritCare for several years, I often saw Dr. John and Bess Manesis in the halls, working, and the coming and goings of getting there. Not only serving on some common ground, I was a patient. I always admired them both! In the clinic/hospital there were people that really stood out! Not because they were boisterous or on a stage, but because they belonged, they persevered, they were everywhere, in everything, and belonged in that field, medicine/medical/compassion/caring/giving/knowledge/talented/sharing, and so much more! Reading some of this guest book, and the years of friendships, from EVERYWHERE!

    What an incredible life!

    Now, I really understand the impact the two of them had in this world!
    I thought it would be special, but WOW!
    And so beautifully said by so many touching talented words, so many…

    May our Lord and Savior hold and comfort all of us that grieve the loss of such love, such a gifted talented soul that you sent to us God!

    Bess, (and all of TheoJohns legacy), when you read these entries regarding this journey, you will feel His ❤️ love…

  32. We are saddened to hear John’s passing. We joined his company during our13 years in Palm Desert. We last spoke to him at the Sun City Palm Desert Arts & Crafts show in 2019. When he published his first poetry books, we saw how much effort it took for him to satisfy the publisher. His legacy of poetry books sits now on our bookshelf at home.
    May he rest in peace.

  33. I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Manesis and deeply sorry I was out of town and unable to be there to celebrate his life. I have so many wonderful memories of time spent at the Manesis house during junior high and high school. John’s kindness, humor, and curiosity were always present. I’m so grateful I was able to attend his recent poetry reading at the Spirit Room and visit with family that I haven’t seen in a few years. My heartfelt sympathies to Bess, Mary, Stephanie, Peter, and George. I took a few minutes to watch the video of the service as well as the reflection of his life in pictures. So fun to see the old family photos and hear the stories of how he impacted the lives of so many, including mine. My love to all!

  34. LOSS OF A GREAT FRIEND WHOM I’M SORRY TO SAY I HAVEN’T SEEN FOR YEARS. A GREAT LOSS.

    BOB GEORGE(OLD CLASSMATE).

  35. Very touching Im so Glad to have been Part of Johns life! A Great Man. If the world had more like this we would be a much better place! Go Fish with My Dad and rest well! Love Sam

  36. I am so sorry for this late note of sympathy & prayers for Bess & family. May John Rest In Peace & may Bess keep him ever in her heart & her memory of the good times they had together. HUGS

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