Staff Sgt. Bobby Lee Mahannah, 82, passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family at the Veterans Community Living Center at Homelake in Monte Vista, Colo., on Dec. 29, 2022. Bobby was a decorated veteran who served in the Vietnam War and retired from the United States Army with 20 years of service.
Bobby was born on April 26, 1940, in Delta, Colo., to his parents Jacob Mahannah and Margaret Ream Mahannah. Prior to being drafted in the US Army in 1963, Bobby was employed as a farmer for 7 years. He attended Spirit Lake High School in Spirit Lake, Idaho, and later received his GED in 1972.
A Vietnam War veteran, Bobby served two combat tours from July 1967 to July 1968, and January 1971 to December 1971. He participated in the Vietnam Counteroffensive Phases III, IV & V, the TET Counteroffensive in 1968, the Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase VII, and Vietnam Consolidation I and II. His awards include, the Army Commendation Medal, six Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Army Service ribbon, the Overseas Service ribbon with 3 tours, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with the 1960 Device, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm, Master Aircraft Crewman Badge, and the Expert Marksman Badge (M-16).
During his 20 years of service, Bobby was stationed at Ft. Leonardwood, Mo.; Ft. Chaffee, Ark.; Ft. Bliss, Texas; Ft. Benning, Ga.; Ft. Huachuca, Ariz.; Ft. Hood, Texas; Ft. Wainwright, Ark., Ft. Rucker, Ala.; Ft. Riley, Kan.; and Ft. Eustis, Va. His distinguished career included duty as an Engineer Equipment Maintenance Helper, Multi Engine Aircraft Repairman, Single Engine Airplane Maintenance Chief, Airplane Repairman, Senior Aircraft Mechanic, Airplane Mechanic, Airplane Technical Inspector, Aircraft Quality Control Supervisor, Instructor, and Observation Airplane Repairer. As denoted on a performance evaluation, “SSG Mahannah has performed all assigned and implied duties in an outstanding manner.
He is a conscientious noncommissioned officer with a keen technical knowledge of aviation maintenance policies and procedures. SSG Mahannah has the rare and uncanny ability to transmit this knowledge in a clear, concise, and tactful manner to the students. He is a professional noncommissioned officer in every sense of the word. His pronounced “can-do” attitude is directly responsible for the high degree of success the Surveillance Airplane Branch now enjoys.” Bobby retired from the US Army on 1 Nov 1983 as a senior aircraft mechanic with the rank of staff sergeant.
Bobby was married in June 1967 to Bonnie Jean James of Montrose, Colo., and they had three children, Michael Wayne, Jesse Lee, and Judy Lynn Mahannah. After retiring from the US Army, Bobby and his family chose to settle in the town of Monte Vista, Colo.. After moving to Monte Vista, Bobby started working in the local potato industry. He worked for several local companies for over 25 years.
Bobby was an honorable, humble, and kindhearted man that selflessly sacrificed for his country, his community, his family, and his friends. He gave to those in need when he could, and at times when he knew would present difficulties for himself. Bobby was a giving person that asked for nothing in return.
In his free time, Bobby had a passion for gardening, woodworking, and fishing. Bobby loved spending lots of time with his beloved grandchildren. His grandchildren fondly called him Papa, Pops, and Grandpa. Bobby was a kind, loving, and compassionate grandfather and he cherished the time spent with his family. He always put his family first and supported his grandchildren with his unconditional love.
Bobby was preceded in death by his father Jacob Mahannah, his aunt Iona Wood, his sisters Dorthy Mahannah, Lois Mahannah, and Betty Mahannah Hess; his brother Donald Mahannah, and his former wife Bonnie James. He is survived by his mother Margaret Ream Mahannah of Cedaredge, Colo.; his son Michael Mahannah and wife Misty, with his grandchildren Brenden, Tyler, and Katyrina of Grover, Colo.; his son Jesse Mahannah and wife Nadia, with his grandchildren Courtney and Alex of Georgetown, Texas; his daughter Judy Mahannah, with his grandchildren Samantha and Michael Zaydel and great-granddaughter Elizabeth Zaydel, Alyssa and Stevie Malstrom, Jordan Mahannah Vigil, and Meaghan Molder Mahannah of Monte Vista, Colo.; Keith Vigil of Monte Vista, Colo.; and many beloved extended family members and friends.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the staff at the Veterans Community Living Center at Homelake for their kindness, compassion, and exceptional treatment of Bobby while he was entrusted to their care.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in SSG Bobby Mahannah’s name to the Veterans Community Living Center at Homelake, P.O. Box 97, Homelake, CO 81136. Flowers may be sent to Strohmayer’s Funeral Home, 205 S. Broadway, Monte Vista, CO 81144. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, at the Homelake Veterans Cemetery.