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Manchin’s mother, Mary Manchin, passes away

By By Paul Nyden
Staff writer

Mary Manchin, mother of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., died on Monday morning. She was 91.

“Today, the good Lord brought my dear mother home to rest in eternal peace next to my father,” Manchin said in a statement Monday.

“Gayle and I, and our entire family, are saddened by the loss of my beloved mother who touched so many in her life, but we know that she is now in a better place. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.”

In a statement, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said he was saddened to hear of Mary Manchin’s passing.

“She was a guiding force in Senator Manchin’s life, an inspiration to her family and totally dedicated to her community and her state,” he said. “Sharon and I join with West Virginians everywhere in offering our prayers for the entire Manchin family.”

Mary Manchin grew up in Rachel, a little town near Farmington, with three sisters and four brothers.

Charles Gouzd, her father, was a Czechoslovakian immigrant who operated a local grocery store.

When Gouzd emigrated from Czechoslovakia at the age of 32, he first found work in a slaughterhouse in Chicago, where he met his wife, according to previous Gazette reports.

Friends then called Gouzd, asking him to work with them in coal mines in West Virginia.

After three or four years, the Gouzds moved to Rachel. Charles worked in the mines for a couple of years before opening a grocery store he continued to operate until he died.

Mary Gouzd went to Farmington High School, where she met John Manchin. Mary graduated in 1941 and married John the following year.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said, “My heart goes out to Joe and his entire family on the passing of Mary Manchin. My family has been friends with the Manchin family for years, and I know Mary was a devoted, nurturing and loving mother.

“At this very difficult time, I am sending my thoughts and prayers to the Manchin family and encourage West Virginians to do the same,” Capito said.

“Mary Manchin was more than an inspirational force upon her children, because at least with our Senator, she taught by example, applying her considerable love for athletics to mold his character, sense of fairness and winning attitude in life. In a state where faith and family mean everything, in the Manchin family, that is exponentially true. Our hearts and prayers go out to our friends, Joe and Gayle Manchin, their family and countless friends as we remember this precious and proud Mother, this gracious daughter of West Virginia.”

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and Sen. Nick Rahall also released statements on the death of Mary Manchin.

“I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mary Manchin,” Tennant said in a statement. “Senator Manchin and I share a very similar Marion County upbringing and we are both from large families. Mary Manchin was an extraordinary woman who raised her children to value hard work, to remain dedicated to their beliefs and ideals, and to never waver in their desire to always do what is right.”

“Mary Manchin was more than an inspirational force upon her children, because at least with our Senator, she taught by example, applying her considerable love for athletics to mold his character, sense of fairness and winning attitude in life,” Rahall said. “In a state where faith and family mean everything, in the Manchin family, that is exponentially true.”

Mary Manchin was married to John Manchin Sr. for 60 years before he died on Christmas Eve in 2002. Mary and John had five children: Joe, John Manchin Jr., Rock Manchin, Paula Llanza and Janet Thompson.

Reach Paul J. Nyden

at pjnyden@wvgazette.com

or 304-348-5164.


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