Cover photo for Manuel "Manny" Jose Bautista's Obituary
Manuel "Manny" Jose Bautista Profile Photo
1952 Manuel "Manny" 2022

Manuel "Manny" Jose Bautista

December 12, 1952 — July 23, 2022

On July 23, 2022, the Lord called upon Manuel Jose Sumulong Bautista to return to Him after a short, but valiant battle with cancer. “Manny” was born on December 12, 1952, in New York City to Manuel Carag Bautista and Belen Sumulong Bautista. Due to his mother’s various foreign service assignments as Consul General of the Philippines, Manny embraced the world at a young age when he traveled with his family to reside in Barcelona, Spain; Manila, Philippines; and New Orleans, Louisiana. Thereafter, Manny planted roots in Chicago, Illinois, but would eventually call Gratiot, Wisconsin his final home with the love of his life, Laurie, for 18 wonderful years. A man of many talents, many names, and one larger than life personality. “Manny B.” to the many faithful followers of his music. “Caboose” to his extended family around the world. “Kuy” to his siblings - short for “older brother” in Tagalog and “Tito Bud” to his nieces and nephew- whom he loved as his own with no shortage of jokes, wisdom, and stories with every visit. Manny lived each day in pursuit of his dream - sharing his music with the world. Manny toured throughout the country to play with bands like Moses and the Highbrows, Little Vito and the Torpedoes, and would even start his own bands, such as Manny B. and the Rhythm Nights and The Manny B Group. Manny loved performing because they led to unforgettable memories with lifelong friends at venues such as Floyd’s Steakhouse and Lounge in West Dundee, IL; his award winning seven years at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL; and countless casinos in the Midwest and across the country. Manny’s music amassed a vast yet loyal following. To other traveling musicians, mere spectators become fans. But to Manny, his fans not only became his friends, but would become his extended family. Notably, when Manny was at risk of kidney failure, one of his biggest fans and closest friends, Christie Huber, selflessly donated her kidney to him. Manny spread joy to everyone he met - whether it be through his vibrant persona, infectious laughter, delicious cooking, or unmistakable talent. His love of laughter, life, and music didn’t end at his death but continues to play within all of our hearts today.  His memory will be cherished and kept alive by his adoring wife, Laurie Athey of Gratiot, WI; Loving stepfather to Melissa and her husband Ryan Carlin and David Athey of Cobb, WI; he was also an honorary Grandpa, fondly called "Lolo" by his little buddy, Oliver, and his mom Melissa Foster of Shullsburg, WI; Cherished brother to Mary Jo (nee Bautista) Mendoza and her husband, Noni of Manalapan, NJ; Dr. Jose Juan Bautista and his wife Dr. Maria Imelda (nee Vinzon) of Metairie, LA; Adored uncle/tito to Nikko Mendoza of Boston, MA; Mia (nee Mendoza) Schweighofer and her husband Jurguen of Empersdorf, Austria; Naki Mendoza and his wife Andrea (nee Relator) of Reston, VA; and Joanna Marie and Angela Marie Bautista of Metairie, LA. Esteemed friend, colleague, and honorary family member to countless others. A celebration of Manny’s life will be held on October 15th, from 11am-2pm in Gratiot, WI, at the Gratiot Community Center. The address is 5630 Main Street, Gratiot, WI 53541. A private funeral mass was said in Manny’s honor on July 26, 2022, at St. Joseph Church in Gratiot, WI. To continue Manny’s passion of spreading joy through music, donations can be made in his honor to Hungry For Music.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Manuel "Manny" Jose Bautista, please visit our flower store.

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