John Gilbride McManus

John Gilbride McManus, 83, of Marion, MA and Vero Beach, FL, died unexpectedly during surgery on July 6, 2018 at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA. The son of the late John Francis and Helen Rose Gilbride, Gil is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara Rohrbach McManus; his son, John Gilbride McManus, Jr., and his wife Melissa of Walpole; his daughter, Anne Hurlbut, and her husband Matthew of Marion; 5 grandchildren, Barbara, William, Lila, Natalie, and Teddy.  Gil was born in Boston and lived in Milton, MA before moving to Marion, MA and Vero Beach, FL.

Mr. McManus graduated from Portsmouth Priory School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1952, and from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1956. While at Harvard he was a member of the A.D. Club, and he had many fond memories of his time playing freshman football and hockey there as well.  He served in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958. Beginning in 1959, Gil worked for R.M. Bradley and Company, specializing in industrial and commercial real estate, land development, brokerage, and real estate counseling, and was promoted to president in 1983. He was a member of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and the National Association of Real Estate Boards.  While at R.M. Bradley, he consulted with United Fruit, United Brands, Prudential, Gillette, and First National Bank of Boston. He was also a member of the Urban Land Institute.

A man who was well known for his dogged work ethic, Gil also knew how to have fun; he found joy in every nook and cranny of life. He had a deep appreciation for the outdoors, and he enjoyed many a round of golf at the clubs that were near and dear to his heart, especially at The Country Club, Brookline, MA, The Kittansett Club, Marion, MA, The Ekwanok Country Club, Manchester, VT, The Dorset Field Club, Dorset, VT, and The Riomar Country Club and The Moorings Club, Vero Beach, FL.  Gil shared many laughs with dear friends on those greens, and he also enjoyed many years of sailing at The Beverly Yacht Club.

Gil served on the Board of Trustees at Faulkner Hospital, R.M. Bradley and Company, Inc., Noble and Greenough School, The United States Senior Golf Association, and the Board of Investment at The Merchants Cooperative Bank. At The Kittansett Club and The Riomar Country Club, Gil also served on the Board of Governors.  Gil also organized the Harvard Club of Vero Beach in 2004.

Gil always enjoyed skiing, golfing, sailing, a good game of backgammon, Haribo gummy bears, and iced decaf coffee. He had a keen eye for genuine people, befriending them immediately and with great joy. Gil’s booming and welcoming voice was unmistakable, and heads always turned with a smile to know that he was in a room.  He was fiercely devoted to his family and friends, and was endlessly selfless in his relations with them; he thought never of himself, and always of others. Above all, Gil is remembered for his fantastic sense of humor and for his uncanny ability to make each person around him feel uniquely and undeniably special.  Gil was charming, affable, funny, and ceaselessly kind; he lived his life to give to others, whether he was supporting his own mother in old age, providing a loving home and a wonderful education for his children, showering his “bride Barbara” with love, or sharing a laugh with his loyal, one-of-a-kind friends.  Gil was as full of life as they come, and to say that he will be missed is one heck of an understatement.

In life and now in death, Gil was the gentlest of men, and the model of a gentleman. That sentiment has been echoed time and again by all of those who knew him in the days since his passing. The world is a little less bright without him in it, but he would encourage us all to keep smiling and to compensate for the darkness. Keep a twinkle in your eye in his honor, and make the world a better place with kindness, positivity, and oh so much laughter. To borrow one of his common phrases about others, Gil McManus was “one of the great ones.”

There will be a memorial service for Gil on Monday, August 13th at 11:00 am at Saint Gabriel’s Church in Marion, MA with a reception to follow at The Kittansett Club in Marion.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation, if you desire, to St. Gabriel’s Church, P.O. Box 545, Marion, MA 02738 or to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Development Office, 116 Huntington Ave., 3rd floor, Boston, MA 02116.

Arrangements are by the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Wareham. For more info and online guestbook, visit:

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