Legendary Manchester coach, professor emeritus Jim Gratz dies
Email sent Monday, Feb. 6, to Manchester University employees:
It is with deep sadness that I report the death Friday of Jim Gratz, 92, associate professor emeritus of health, physical education and recreation.
Jim was a legendary figure in Manchester emeritus joining the faculty in 1962. He coached the Spartan baseball team for 24 years, and also served as athletic director, wrestling coach, assistant football coach and assistant track coach during his tenure that ended with retirement in 1987. After his retirement, he served for a time as the executive director of the M Association.
Manchester’s baseball field bears his name today as a testament to the many young men he coached and the immeasurable ways he prepared them for successful lives after graduation.
A native of Bluffton, Ohio, Jim graduated in 1950 from Bluffton University. He went on to earn two master’s degrees from Indiana University. He was inducted into the Manchester University Hall of Fame and the Bluffton University Sports of Hall of Fame.
Jim is survived by his wife, Jane, of North Manchester, and four children who graduated from MU: Robin, retired Funderburg Library director; Reed, Randy and Wendy Gratz-Borman, who previously served as the vice president for advancement at MU.
The family will receive friends at 10 a.m. today (Monday, Feb. 6) at the Manchester Church of the Brethren, where a service will begin at 11 a.m.
McKee Mortuary in North Manchester is handling arrangements.
Please keep the Gratz family and their many friends in your thoughts and prayers.
About Manchester University
Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to 1,600 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Athletic Training, a Master of Pharmacogenomics and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu.