Sunday, November 29, 2020


September 29, 1997—July 22, 2020

   SPARTA - John Joseph Manka, age 22, of Sparta, Wis., died on July 22, 2020 at his home.

   He was born in Sparta on September 29, 1997. He graduated from Sparta High School in 2016.

   John was employed at Matthews Archery, Silica Sand Mine and Inter-Con Construction, respectively. These jobs suited John to a T as he loved bow hunting and driving heavy equipment. He worked hard and he played hard. He cherished the outdoors and was passionate about hunting big and small game; fishing; 4-wheeling in his Polaris RZR with his friends and family. His pride and joy was his black, beasty, jacked-up Chevy Z71 Duramax truck with tinted windows. His beloved dog, Patches, was often seen riding shotgun even if someone else was sitting in the front passenger side, too.

   John will forever be remembered as a caring and welcoming person who was quickly ready to help anyone in time of need. His spontaneity and quick wit always left folks laughing and he could talk to anyone young or old. He created some fantastic memories and “John stories” that will be cherished and repeated for many years.

   He is survived by his mother, Shana (Mathison) Manka; two siblings, Brandon Manka and Savannah Nesk; maternal grandmother, Sharon Baumer; paternal grandparents, Darryl and Ann Manka; very special friend, Lynn Jerome, who was like a father to him; and, many aunts, uncles and cousins who also loved him dearly.

   He is preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Thomas J. Mathison, Sr.; and uncle, Thomas “TJ” Mathison, Jr.

   A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at New Life Assembly of God Church in Sparta. Pastor Brock Williamson will officiate. A visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. today, Monday, and from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service Tuesday, all at the New Life Assembly of God Church. Social distancing will be observed.

   In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

   Online condolences may be sent at

   Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home

Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876


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