Beatrice C. Manka
Bea Manka, 71, passed from this earth April 27, 2023 at Quiet Oaks Hospice House after being diagnosed with cancer last fall. She was surrounded by family and flowers.
Born August 18, 1951 to Clarence and Isabelle (Wozniak) Trettel, Beatrice Cynthia grew up a tomboy on a farm in North Prairie, MN with 8 siblings. She milked cows, attended a one-room school house, honed her sharpshooting skills, and grew into a card shark who outwitted her family to the end of her days.
Bea graduated from St. Francis High School in Little Falls and the University of Minnesota. She married her beloved husband Rupert Manka in 1975. Bea and Rupert valued education and made sure their three children had every opportunity to experience new things, whether in a formal school setting or traveling the world.
Never a woman to sit still for long, Bea lived many lifetimes in her 71 years. Rupert supported all of her ideas and projects, no matter how big (or heavy) they were.
As the owner of Lora B’s Fashion stores, Bea delighted in helping women feel sophisticated and successful. Following many years in fashion, Bea closed her stores and co-owned the Blue Port Restaurant on Lake Alexander in Cushing. She thrived on the chaos of working 24/7, the colorful personalities who walked through the door, and the lifelong friendships she made during that time. Her kids will never forget the karaoke nights or dance parties – or driving the occasional customer to the ER for getting a little too enthusiastic.
After the sale of Blue Port and Rupert’s passing, Bea surrounded herself with her massive flower gardens on Lake Alex and dear friends and family. She was an AirBnb Super Host. She never stopped learning, and instilled in her family the importance of curiosity and being open minded.
Until the very end, Bea thrived on the rigor of her commercial real estate endeavors and the thrill of worldwide adventure. Birds and the moon captivated her. Bea called everyone “honey” and “sweetheart.” She never turned down a strong drink, potato chips or a smack-talking card game. She was stubborn, shrewd, generous, and enormously creative. She was a wonderful friend. She never threw anything away (“just in case”), to the exasperation of her kids.
Bea took great joy and pride in her children Joram (Maria) of North Prairie, Louis (Lorena) of Cushing, Kayla of Franklin, Tennessee, and her grandsons Jaxon, Baron and August. Bea held a reverent sense of wonder about the world and had two mantras: “If it’s meant to be, it will be” and “Life is good, so be grateful and thankful for all that you have.”
Following Bea’s wishes, there will be no public service. She will be interred with Rupert at the Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery. Her children encourage donations to organizations she generously supported: The Poor Clare Monastery of Sauk Rapids, the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.