Obituary: Pete David Mann, 66

Pete David Mann died near Willows on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. The third of four children, he was born in Willows to David and Jean Mann on Jan. 1, 1957.

He grew up in Glenn, riding motorcycles. At a young age, he knew he wanted to be a pilot, and at 16 he took his first flying lesson with his brother, Joel.

During high school, after farming a plot of rice with the FFA, he bought his prized 1963 Corvette, which he had throughout his life.

In 1981, Pete, with his parents and brother, started Mann & Sons Ag. Aviation.

In 1982, he married Leslie, who would be his wife for more than 40 years, and together they had two children: Pete Jr. and Tasha.

Over the course of his 42-year career as a pilot, he enjoyed making many friends and memories. Last year, due to the drought, he had a much lighter workload than normal and was able to do many other things he enjoyed.

He was able to spend more time at his cabin in Butte Meadows, feeding deer that would come visit him. He attended the March Meet and the Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Dragstrip in Bakersfield.

While attending the Hot Rod Reunion in October, he was able to go for a jet ride in a L-39 that he had purchased at the Field of Dreams dinner earlier that year. He loved every minute of it and had a smile from ear to ear.

However, the thing he enjoyed doing the most was spending time at the airport, visiting with traveling pilots, farmers, field men and just about anybody who walked through the door.

When not visiting, he would diligently work on whatever he could find, often on his 1934 Ford, his 1975 Dodge Pickup or his Corvette. When asked, just this year, if he wanted to continue flying another year, he promptly replied, “Yes!”

He is survived by his wife, Leslie Mann; children Pete Mann Jr. and Tasha Mann; mother Jean Mann; sister Dena Schmidt (Dave); brother Joel Mann (Carlene); and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, David Mann; and his sister, Lynda Reynolds, and her husband Bill.

A graveside service is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday, March 20, at the Willows Cemetery, with a reception to follow at the St. Monica’s Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the Field of Dreams, P.O. Box 217, Colusa, CA 95932, in memory of Pete.

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