Paul Ronald Mankin of Amarillo, Texas passed away on Wednesday June 8th, 2022.
Celebration of life service will be held at 2pm on Monday June 20th at First Baptist Church, Amarillo.
Paul Ronald Mankin was born on November 14, 1944, to Earl Melton Mankin and Esther Jane Harris Mankin in Dallas, Texas. Soon after birth, Ronnie’s family moved to Coleman, Texas where he was raised with his brother Donald and sisters Betty and Delta Sue Mankin. Growing up, Ronnie loved sports more than a little bit and his athletic prowess was evident from an early age. From 1951 to 1963, Ronnie attended school in Coleman.
After graduating from Coleman High School, Ronnie went to West Texas State University on a full ride football scholarship under the direction of Head Coach Joe Kerbal. From the very start of his college football career, Ronnie left a lasting impression on everyone he met. His coaches and teammates would all agree that Ronnie had just one speed – wide open. As Frank A. Godsoe wrote in his column in the October 19, 1965 Amarillo Globe Newspaper, “the West Texas State team doesn’t have a more fascinating individual nor is there a more popular player on the squad”. Ronnie truly was #11 in your program, and #1 in your heart. Ronnie would later be inducted into the WT Football Hall of Champions in September of 2001.
Ronnie graduated from West Texas State in 1968 and became a Graduate Assistant for the football program under Coach Kerbal. Ronnie was drafted into the United States Army later that year. After his basic training, Ronnie served in the 546th Personnel Service Department at Fort Hood, Texas until his release in the summer of 1970. Ronnie’s patriotism and love for his country was evident throughout his entire life. During Ronnie’s service, his first son, Michael Robert Mankin, was born on March 24th, 1970. Ronnie returned to West Texas State that summer to complete his degree and served as a Graduate Assistant Football Coach. He graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in 1972 and became the backfield coach for head coach Gene Mayfield. While Ronnie coached at West Texas State, his second son, Ronald Mark Mankin, was born on October 18, 1975.
After leaving West Texas State in 1976, Ronnie worked for various insurance companies until he finally joined State Farm Insurance in 1980. He would go on to be an extremely successful agent and remain there until his retirement in June of 2021.
Ronnie lived life with the throttle mashed all the way down until he married the love of his life, Nena Spicer, on September 1st, 2000. Ronnie and Nena absolutely completed each other, and it was clear that they had both finally met their true counterpart and best friend. Ronnie welcomed a stepdaughter, Kylee Veazey, with open arms and he took fatherhood in stride becoming her true dad.
As a father, Ronnie was always there for his children. Ronnie was firm and had high expectations for manners, respectfulness, and achievements; while at the same time being supportive, exceptionally caring, and full of love. Ronnie taught his children everything that made him the amazing man he was: to Live Big, love fiercely, respect everyone, and never take no for an answer.
Ronnie was many things to many people: a wonderful husband, dad, father-in-law, granddad, and friend. But the role he flourished in most was ‘Granddad’ to Michael Brock Mankin, Katherine Belle Mankin, Rylee Jo Mankin, and Cooper James Mankin. From chasing cows to playing Chicken Batter in the backyard, Ronnie never ceased to go above and beyond to show his grandchildren how much he loved them. Every time he told them farewell, he always had to sneak a little cash into their hands.
Throughout his life, Ronnie sought out ways to help others and make his community a better place. This was clearly shown through his generosity and involvement in the Ronald McDonald House, Coors Cowboy Club, Coors Ranch Rodeo, Another Chance House, and the 100 Club, just to name a few.
Ronnie had a servant’s heart, which was a true reflection of his faith and personal relationship with Christ. On June 12th, 2020, Ronnie accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and was baptized in the First Baptist Church of Amarillo. This act has left those who love our Big Guy with peace in our hearts, as it solidified that this is not goodbye, but see you at Supper Time.
Ronnie was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Esther Mankin, his brother, Donald Mankin, and sisters Betty Hosch and Delta Sue Smith.
He is survived by his wife, Nena, son Mike Mankin of Houston, TX, son Mark Mankin and wife Samantha of Elizabeth, CO, and daughter Kylee Veazey, of Boston, MA; four grandchildren, Brock Mankin, Katherine Mankin, Rylee Mankin, and Cooper Mankin.
Honorary pallbearers are Coors Cowboy Club members and West Texas State Football teammates.
Pallbearers include: Brock Mankin, Vance Reed, Todd Mayfield, Richard McFarland, Tony Harper, Terry Funk, and Bucky Wood.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Another Chance House of Amarillo or 100 Club of Amarillo.
A reception in Ronnie’s honor will be held following the service at the Coors Cowboy Club, 3301 SE 10th Ave., Amarillo, TX 79104.
“He has a grin that would be difficult for a plastic surgeon to remove.” – Frank A. Godsoe on Ronnie’s disposition.