Vai's View: How Harmon Killebrew, Charlie Manuel blessed a small Virginia Mormon community

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  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 23, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    Harmon Killebrew was The Man. If he went inactive later in life after his marital problems and divorce from his first wife, so what. He still lived a life worth emulating. And we could all do a lot worse as far as a good example to follow.

  • jdcray Richmond, VA
    May 23, 2011 7:08 a.m.

    Thanks for highlighting this cool story, Vai. As you drive into Buena Vista from I-81, there is a sign at the entrance to the city referencing it as the hometown of Mr. Manuel. As an SVU alumnus, I appreciate the education you've provided on who both of these good men are/were and why their stories are worth knowing.

  • 1Infidel APO, AE
    May 22, 2011 4:20 a.m.

    I too grew up in Minnesota and was early on a baseball fanatic. I listened faithfully to the radio and read the Star/Tribune daily for Twins news and was very excited to go to occasional games at the Met. My parents converted in a similar period as Harmon, but I do not recall it as news then.

    I finally met he and his brother Robert when they were doing a tour in Europe. His appearance was not very well advertised, so I was thrilled to have 30-40 minutes with just the two of them, talking about events, places and people. I do not recall that we discussed our common LDS ties.

    While I long suspected that Harmon was living the lifestyle of the LDS faith, I did not have the impression that he was regularly active, with callings. I would be curious to learn what the LDS community or influence in Payette was, as I suspect he was naturally raised in and comfortable with LDS ways, though perhaps practice, doctrine and worship were not his focus.

    Regardless, those I know who knew him all felt hs was truly a kind, generous and unassuming gentleman known respectfully as Killer.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    May 21, 2011 8:17 a.m.

    Once again Via you made my day!

  • CooginIN Southern, IN
    May 20, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    Another uplifting story that I wouldn't hear anywhere else. Thanks for sharing!

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    May 20, 2011 5:23 p.m.

    Great Story-I love a guy who remembers his roots.

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    May 20, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    Excellent article, especially how Charlie Manuel's comments helped soften the attitude of the native's of Buena Vista towards the school.

    Re: bikeboy: According to numerous biographies about Killebrew, he divorced his first wife, Elaine, in 1989. He married his current wife, Nita, in 1990. Regardless of his activity/membership in his later life, there is no doubt Harmon Killebrew was so well-liked by so many because of the manner in which he lived his life and treated others. May his family find peace during this time!

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    May 20, 2011 2:27 p.m.

    Harmon Killebrew grew up in Idaho, but was a convert to the LDS faith latter in life. I'm a native Minnesotan and have been a lifelong Twins fan, so you can imagine how a Mormon boy in the 60's thrilled to have a Mormon hero on his favorite ball team. You cannot even imagine the amount of good he did in Minnesota. I hope Harmon gets to swing the celestial bat at a few potatoes!

    Thanks Via for this article that provides one more instance of his benevolence.

  • bikeboy Boise, ID
    May 20, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    I'm a bit confused about Mr. Killebrew.

    Years ago Mom told me he was a Mormon - when he was playing. Cool!

    This week I've read another story at DN, saying he was baptized, apparently in 1966 during his career. And he was famous for his apparent adherence to Word of Wisdom tenets... and his "vice" being ice cream. (I can identify!)

    So - why does his official obituary (carried in the Boise news - Payette is less than an hour away) make no mention of his Mormon faith? And why was his Arizona service at "Christ Church of the Valley"? I'm assuming maybe it's a "second wife thing"? Or maybe like Mr. Huntsman, he wanted to downplay his religious convictions for some reason...

    (Nice article, by the way!)

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    May 20, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    Great stuff!

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 20, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    Thank you Vai, I look forward to your articles more than anything else I read.

  • DC Fan Layton, UT
    May 20, 2011 12:25 p.m.

    what a great story, enjoyed it.. thanks.

  • Iggle Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2011 12:04 p.m.

    Love Uncle Cholly. Great story. Go Phils!

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    May 20, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    Another interesting a good story - thanks Bro Sikahema.