Print Obituary
Print Comments
Share

David W. Mann

12/06/1947
12/26/2023

   David W. Mann, age 76 of East Grand Rapids, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on December 26, 2023, following a sudden decline in health after celebrating Christmas with his beloved family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Morton and Vera Mann. David is survived by his wife, Janice Kittel Mann; daughters, Kathryn (Timothy) MacGuidwin, Elizabeth (Marc) Levesque; grandchildren, Cecilia MacGuidwin, Fitzgerald MacGuidwin, Josephine Levesque, Gustave Levesque; brother, Thomas (Beth) Mann; sister, Susan Zimmerman; brothers-in-law, Robert Kittel (Sandy), Mark Kittel; also his four nieces and nephews.

   David was a lifelong Wolverine, earning both his Honors undergraduate degree and Ph. D in Psychology from The University of Michigan in 1972 and 1976. He worked for the Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor prior to beginning a lifelong career in organizational psychology and consulting. After seven years of living in Detroit near his favorite pro teams, the Detroit Tigers, and Red Wings, he and his family relocated to West Michigan where the trout streams and Lake Michigan dunes and forests brought him lifelong joy. He worked for Steelcase Inc. for 15 years before starting a consulting business in 2005. He wrote a phenomenally successful Shingo Prize winning book on Lean Culture principles, “Creating a Lean Culture: Tools to Sustain Lean Conversions,” that was translated into 6 languages and sold throughout the world as a master guide for Lean Managers to sustain implementations of Lean. Through multiple editions David worked and traveled extensively supporting this work. After retirement he gave generously of his time in order to mentor without cost Lean implementations both public and private throughout the world.  In retirement David found meaning and friends in volunteering at Home Repair Services in Grand Rapids where he worked in the Cabinet Shop building kitchen cabinets for sale to homeowners struggling to remodel their homes.

   David met and married the love of his life, Jan, at The University of Michigan. They were married for 42 rich and wildly active years.  Together they sought out the places in the natural world that sustained them. Forests, rivers, gardens, mountains, and the great lakes and oceans of this world were both inspiration and solace for both of them. They were partners in all things, including but not limited to: skiing, running, backpacking, fishing, birding, gardening, hiking, and traveling.  David was a man of vast knowledge, memory, and patience. He would stop and speak with any person with kindness and true interest in their lives. His gentle and dignified manner put anyone he met at ease.

   David was proud of Jan’s 30 year career as a federal and state criminal prosecutor, fully supporting her decision to pursue a career and raise a family with him. David raised, with Jan, two daughters, Kate and Elizabeth, born in Detroit and raised in West Michigan. They went on to earn degrees at The University of Michigan and proudly support the teams loved by their father. Kate earned a Juris Doctor degree and Elizabeth a Ph.D. while enjoying the support and endless pride of their father in these pursuits. David loved his wife, his daughters, his sons-in-law and his four grandchildren more than life itself. The image of David walking hand in hand with his children and then his grandchildren patiently explaining some mystery of the universe will remain forever in our hearts. He frequently said that his family was the best part of his life.

   David was a voracious reader, and he freely shared his detailed knowledge with all of his family and friends.  His wit, his breadth of spirit, and strength will be deeply missed by all who knew him.  David’s brother Tom was his treasured friend and fly-fishing companion. David has many lifelong friends from each era of his life too numerous to mention–with whom he laughed, loved, and explored the many paths in this life.

   Shalom to all who knew and loved David.

  Visitation will be held Thursday, January 18, 2024, from 1-4 pm at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Funeral Home, 3980 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Memorial service will take place 11:00 am Friday, January 19, 2024, with visitation one-hour prior at the same location. In lieu of flowers, the Mann family requests donations to David’s favorite nonprofit organizations:  Michigan Trout Unlimited; The Nature Conservancy Michigan, and J.N. “Ding” National Wildlife Refuge.

Make a Contribution

Memorial Contributions

Michigan Trout Unlimited

or

The Nature Conservancy Michigan

or

J.N. “Ding” National Wildlife Refuge

1 Wildlife Drive

Sanibel, FL 33957-3032

Sign the Guest Book

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Make a Contribution

Memorial Contributions

Michigan Trout Unlimited

or

The Nature Conservancy Michigan

or

J.N. “Ding” National Wildlife Refuge

1 Wildlife Drive

Sanibel, FL 33957-3032