Etc. -- R. E. Mann's 1984 death, tributes and obit
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A transcription of a page 1 article in the Friday 11 May 1984 Simcoe Reformer newspaper. 

Involved Citizen 
R. E. Mann dies

A man who was proud of his American heritage and just as proud to be a Canadian citizen, R. Edward Mann of Simcoe, died Thursday at War Memorial Hospital, Southern Pines, North Carolina. He was 85.

Well known through the district and in the tobacco, insurance and real estate circles, Ed, as he was known, had a host of friends and associates over the years since he first came to Canada in 1930.

In his native Surry County, North Carolina, he was an agent for the Home Insurance Company, but in those Depression years he looked for better things.

He was the hired man and curer for Vittoria Plantations on the farm just south of the Halfway Corner. During the winter months from 1931 to 1933, he was a leaf inspector with Canadian Leaf Tobacco in Chatham and Tillsonburg.

By 1938 he was managing director of Vittoria Plantations until the farms were sold in 1946. In 1935 he bought one of the farms and named it Maple Haven, Woodhouse Gore, living there until selling it in 1970.

Keenly interested in different phases of the tobacco industry he became a founding director of what was the Tobac Curing Systems in 1937, remaining as a vice-president until 1983.

He helped organize the tobacco exhibit and the tobacco king competition at the Norfolk County Fair. A director for many years with the Norfolk Agricultural Society which he joined in 1936, he later became president and life member.

During the Second War World he helped coordinate tobacco farm labor involving tobacco curers from the south who came north every year during the Ontario harvest.

On the home farm in addition to tobacco he grew peppers, okra, tomatoes, corn and raised dairy and beef cattle. Through his efforts young people from the cities were brought to the area in the summer to help in the harvest and thus the word, Farmerettes.

By 1947 it was time to branch out into the insurance and real estate business and thus was born R. E. Mann Agencies. He was the founder and still president. He became a charter member and presently honorary life member of the Simcoe and District Real Estate Board.

A community minded citizen, who always remembered the kindnesses shown the family when they first came to this area, he thrived on the private enterprise system and often chortled when he read or heard of those who complained that things were not going their way. He was always an optimist.

Another of his interests was conservation. The fact that the pioneers such as the late Frank Newman, Ed Zavitz and others of that era never received the recognition they deserved for what they did in saving this county from the "blow sand" days, remained an irritant.

He and the late William Pelton of Lynedoch were the first tobacco adjusters.

He was an honorary life member of the Insurance Brokers of Ontario; past president of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce; member, past president, and just recently made life member of the Simcoe Lions Club; a 32nd degree member of the Scottish Rite; a Shriner; and member of Norfolk Lodge, No. 10, A.F. and A.M. 
For more than 35 years he was a trustee at St. James United Church.

Surviving are his wife, the former Anne Pierce, whom he married at Cameron, N.C., in 1927; sons Robert and Ronald, Simcoe; daughter, Mrs. Donald (Betty) Ivison of Toronto; four grandchildren; and brother 
L. C. Mann, High Point, N.C.

Visitation at the Baldock Funeral Home is Sunday, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Monday, 
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Service is Tuesday at 2 p.m. from St. James United Church, Rev. Carl Zurbrigg will officiate assisted by Rev. George Leck. Interment Oakwood Cemetery.

A lightly edited transcription of a page 1 article in the Friday 11 May 1984 issue of the Simcoe Reformer newspaper. 

Many offer kind words

Tributes for Ed Mann came this morning from people in many different walks of life in the community.

Mann is being remembered not only for his numerous contributions to tobacco, the Norfolk County Fair and the insurance business, but also as "a really nice man" and "a fine citizen."

Harold Pond of Simcoe said "Ed was a very active person in our community," and a faithful member of Norfolk County Fair Board.

Mann was the originator of the tobacco show at the Norfolk County Fair. Pond said the tobacco show was originally held in the Bank of Montreal and then moved into a tent on the fairgrounds. "He worked under those conditions to get it going," said Pond.

Mann was also extremely interested in the horse division of the Norfolk County Fair. Pond said he was "a very fine citizen" and "will certainly be missed."

Ken McArthur, secretary-treasurer of the Norfolk County Fair Board, said Mann was a senior member of the board when McArthur arrived there 14 years ago. He said Mann still attended all of the Norfolk County Fair functions.

Elaine Binks, a secretary at the R. E. Mann office for 16 years, said that even in recent years, Mann came into the office twice a day. She described him as a "wonderful man" and "a really nice man," who treated the employees fairly. She said he was well-liked by all the staff. The office now employs about 35 people.

Ed Allen, RR1 Brownsville, was a fellow southerner who came north to grow tobacco about the same time as Mann. "There are darn few of us left," said Allen. "I guess I'm one of the babies of the crowd."

Allen, who retired in 1975 after 48 years with the Canadian Leaf Tobacco Company, lived several miles from Mann in South Carolina, but met him here for the first time in 1930. They worked together and were great friends. 

"Ed was a very hard working man," said Allen, who recalled the early days of growing tobacco. "We migrated up here in tough times, but it wasn't all rosy here either," he said and cited the back-breaking work with teams of horses in the tobacco fields.

"I can't praise Ed Mann too highly," he said. "He didn't start with a silver spoon." Their friendship flourished over the years and there were many good times.

Former Reformer publisher Bruce Pearce knew Mann since he came to Simcoe from the south. "He was a real sterling citizen," said Pearce. In addition to being a pioneer tobacco grower, Pearce noted he was an astute business man. "I've always admired his enterprise," said Pearce. "Ed was a very genial fellow," he added.

A lightly edited partial transcription of a page 8 series in the Friday 11 May 1984 issue of the Simcoe Reformer newspaper. 

Death Notices

MANN -- R. Edward of 43 Lynndale Road, Simcoe, on Thursday, May 10, 1984 at the War Memorial Hospital, Southern Pines, North  Carolina in his 86th year.

Beloved husband of Ann Pierce. Dear Father of Bob and Ron Mann, Simcoe; Mrs. Donald (Elizabeth) Ivison, Toronto. 
Loving grandfather of four grandchildren. 
Dear brother of L. C. Mann, High Point, North Carolina.

Born in Surry County, North Carolina, 
Mr. Mann came to Canada in 1930. He was founding director in 1937 of Tobac Curing Systems, remaining as vice president until 1983. Entered the insurance and real estate business in 1947 under the name of 
R. E. Mann Agencies, still president at the time of death.

Resting at the Baldock Funeral Home from Sunday 2-9 and Monday 7-9 p.m. Funeral Service on Tuesday, Mary 15 at St. James United Church, Simcoe, 2 p.m. 
Rev. Carl Zurbrigg and Rev. George Leck officiating. Interment Oakwood Cemetery. 

In kindness donations to the R. E. Mann Memorial Fund of the Norfolk General Hospital would be appreciated.

Copyright 2016 John Cardiff