Jerry Mangan was born on January 12, 1962 in Niagara Falls NY to his loving parents Gerald P Mangan Sr. and Yvonne Poirier Mangan. He was the Irish twin to his sister Michele a mere 11 months older than him. The family eventually grew to welcome Yvonne (Beeper), Renetta Marie and his beloved brother George.
Growing up the siblings enjoyed fond memories at Sodus Bay and Jerry enjoyed fishing and as a little boy catching fireflies in jars. He used to ride the tractor with grandpa Mike and then when old enough our brother Georgie on his lap.
Jerry attended St. Theresa’s grammar school wherein he played basketball. And met many a life friend that he maintained contact with and as one friend offered “DeVeaux strong”. After STS, as our school was fondly referred to, off to Niagara Catholic as the class of 1980. It was at Niagara Catholic, that his light truly began to shine in the form of his athletic talents, skills, and abilities. A skinny young man he decided to try out for the Cross-Country team and well the rest was history. Jerry excelled at running and as memory serves their CC team won, by a wide margin, in the all catholic league. It was at Niagara Catholic that Jerry earned the name “maniac”. And for those that knew him there was no explanation necessary as to how he earned that “title” ie full of life and fun with his “crazy antics” as he and his buddies walked the hallways with their “required” suit jackets.
After graduating from NC Jerry ventured to Buffalo State College where he studied teaching earning a bachelor’s degree in education. During his years, at Buff State, he participated in athletics and his talents excelled within the 800 meters which became his signature event. Kind as the day as long, Jerry’s track mate did not have transportation, from the Falls to the college. Jerry would pick up Ed, every day, and the two would go to class, compete, and remained friends thereafter.
Upon graduation Jerry worked within several careers one of which was sales. His charisma and genuine caring made him a natural to which he excelled. Around this time Jerry secured a job as a coach at NCCC within the athletic department. He would frequently share, with pride, on how one of his female athletes made it to nationals and how flying out, to the meet, and watching her compete was second to none. And another of whom became his life friend Ron, would later go onto run the Boston marathon.
Jerry, with his love for running, continued after college running 7 days a week, with no rest for years and years. His family recalls watching him run in local road races ie The Stuffed Mushroom wherein he would be would finish within the top 5 athletes in a field of nearly a 1000. One day he decided to take that shorter distance and turn it into, as he called it “the ultimate one”. He jumped into the Pittsburg marathon ran in the “magic” under 3 hours and earned a spot within the Boston Marathon qualifying and running not once but several times placing, in terms of time, around 2:52.
Jerry was one of the early Checkers (Athletic club) members running for the Checkers A relay team and he would often share how their team won it all.
Jerry continued to run, but his efforts shifted somewhat as his nephew (John) was born followed shortly by Jessica Marie.
On December 11, 1989 his beloved brother George was killed in a tragic car accident, to which Jerry never quite recovered losing his only brother. Yet he channeled all his love and efforts into his nieces and nephews Michele, Jennifer, Sherri, Jerald, Richard, Patrick, George and Tim. In fact it was Tim that coined the ever famous reference to Jerry “Uncle G”.
Uncle G dedicated the remaining years of his life to attending all the events his nieces and nephews were involved in. He, NEVER, missed football, hockey, basketball, soccer, track and field and or a dance recital. In fact at Williamsville North High School his nephew Johns team nicknamed him the “Team Uncle” as he cheered them onto a state championship.
Uncle G would fish with John, Jerry, Pat, Richie, George, and Tim, at Sodus Bay, as he did so many years back with his brother George.
In the early 2000’s Jerry rejoined the Checkers Athletic Club and developed and formulated a huge group of running friends that quickly was referred to as his “running family”. Countless stories of fun, but more importantly were invaluable tips in terms of coaching ideas and support in which his peers improved their performance; if but nothing by the fact Jerry was often heard saying “you’ve got this”!!! It was during this period he secured yet another opportunity to Coach at Hilbert College with their Cross-Country team. He earned high praise for his efforts by the college, but most noted his athletes.
Around 2016 Jerry surprised the family by saying “I am moving to Venice, Florida and going to start a new chapter”. It was in Florida that in terms of a career he found his calling. Jerry secured a job within direct elder care. As you can imagine to the level and degree his warm and fun-loving personality changed and improved the quality of their lives there are no words. He developed a portfolio full of awards within that realm one being “employee of the month” for his unwavering dedication to his seniors. In fact, when Hurricane Irma was approaching the gulf coast the facility needed volunteers to help evacuate the residents. Without hesitation Jerry volunteered to help move the residents, stay with them in the shelter, sleeping on the floor with them to provide comfort and solace from a warm and friendly face.
Naturally, Jerry developed a close network of friends, within Venice, spending time with family and friends. In fact some would say he was known as the Mayor of Venice as everyone knew and loved his vivacious and at times over the top personality the one that set him apart from everyone and the one that we will miss to the end of time.
So it is in closing we say goodbye to our dear brother, brother in law, and beloved Uncle G. Our hearts are broken are spirit is sad, but within your memory we will go on until we meet again. God bless you in heaven! Donations can be made in memory of Jerry to Camp Good Days and Special Times.