Robert A. Manchester III

April 10, 1941November 16, 2012

Robert A. Manchester III died peacefully on November 16th while surrounded by loving friends and family. He succumbed to a lengthy battle with a number of health issues despite the gracious and earnest work of his wonderful nurses and doctors. Robert, raised in Canfield Ohio by his parents, Robert A. Manchester II and Mary B. Manchester along with his brother James R. Manchester (the greatest present he ever received).

Robert is survived by his wife, the love of his life, Susan Manchester with whom he shared many loving years. Robert is also survived by his son Robert A. Manchester IV, his wife Crystal and their two sons Robert A. Manchester V and Holden W. Manchester. Robert is also survived by his step-daughter Andrea Bernardy (Panda) and the mother of his son Joanne Manchester. While he is survived by loving friends and family his strongest legacy is his constant willingness to tend to anyone's need, grief or joy without regard for his own requirements. Those who knew him were never surprised to hear that he routinely placed the welfare of others above his own. He found great reward in utilizing his immense legal talents for the benefits of others. He championed the rights of those both unable and unwilling to compensate him. He led numerous Pro Bono actions on behalf of Veterans and others he felt deserved a fair break. As a dedicated Marine when he discovered that the American Flags flown at the Iwo Jima memorial in Washington DC were in tatters he refused to sit idly by. He founded the Marine Corps War Memorial Foundation dedicated to honor the brave acts of those model Marines who gave so much for Corp and country and ensure new flags will always fly on that memorial. From 1984 to the present, he served as Chief Municipal Judge for the City of the Village OK. He was often been commended concerning his innovative and constructive sentencing. He was awarded numerous legal honors throughout his distinguished career, most notably the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers' Associations Lord Thomas Erskine Award. His professional memberships and affiliations include: Oklahoma Bar Association (First Chairman, Bankruptcy and Reorganization Section); Oklahoma County Bar Association (Board of Directors, 1979-1981); Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association (President, 1993-1994); and inaugural member, indigent defense and arbitration panels, US District Court, Western District, OK. He was been admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in the State of Oklahoma, the US Circuit Court for the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the United States Supreme Court and admitted Pro Hoc Vice in the states of Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, Ohio and United States Bankruptcy Court in Puerto Rico. He was a member of the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women.

For more than 20 years Robert was an active hot air balloonist known throughout the Southwest as the Ballooning Barrister. He was a frequent traveler with an uncanny ability to befriend people throughout the world. His persistent efforts towards tasks forgotten to time made him memorable well beyond his physical years.


  • Funeral Service Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Robert A. Manchester III

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April 2, 2014

I learned of the Barrister's passing far too late to celebrate his life with others who loved him well. He was one of the best friends I ever had, and gave his friendship back in so many wonderful ways, giving me more grand memories that one person deserves to have. One of the sweetest gifts he gave to me was on a trip to Albuquerque one year, he not only let me fly with him, he took my mother up as well--on her 60th birthday.(Flying in a hot air balloon was on her bucket list, but a gift I could never have afforded to give her.) We had a "highway landing", and after the basket stopped rolling, I found him with his arms around my mother, protecting her, as she struggled to get up, and all the while she was screaming, "Can we go again??!!" That was the kind of joy he brought to everyone. He left them breathless, but yelling, "Can we go again?"
Robert performed the ceremony marrying my husband Fred and I on January 18th, 2000, and it thrilled me to have him join us. There was no one I'd rather have done it, and it seems to have stuck, as we are still together.
Fred just says it isn't fair that he didn't get to know you as well as I, but he is thankful for the years he did.
Barrister, I look forward to the day I join you and all your friends, so we can go again.
Missing you every day,
Jacque Harris Holdaway, and husband SFC Freddie L. Holdaway, Jr.
Choctaw, OK

B.J. Barber Hampton

January 13, 2014

Bobby was the wonderful kind-hearted cousin I grew up with! He was four years older than me; our families spent every Thanksgiving together! My Dad (Dr. Russel A. Barber) was his "Uncle Bus". Bobby and Jimmy would spend summers with us while Uncle Bob performed his duties as President of Rotary International! Jimmy tells the story of getting 25 cents an hour for weeding and then going into town (Columbiana, OH) to spend it! We also spent a lot of time swimming at the Firestone Park Pool in Columbiana. My Dad was the veterinarian for the Canfield Fair and the Canfield Horse Show. My Granddad and Dad were large animal veterinarians specializing in horses. Bobby would often go with my Father on "calls". I remember Bobby as being always willing to do anything he could to help out! When I was in high school I was the editor of my high school newspaper. One cold, icy, winter night Bobby and my Mother took the paper to neaby Lisbon to be printed so it would come out on time! I will always be greatful to them for their bravery that night! Bobby was my cousin, my friend, my Big Brother! I am thankful to him for everything he did for me and my family! My family--my Mother, my Father, my Brother Al and I-- loved him dearly! Our prayers are with Susan, Robert and his family, and Joanne. I am so sorry he is not with us anymore! I love you Bobby!

SFC Ben Brown

September 25, 2013

You will be missed sir.

May 21, 2013

We remember having great times with Bob during our mutual years in Ann Arbor. We are so sorry to learn of Bob's death.

David and Jane Manchester Wheeler (Libby Gilpatric's sister)

Libby Manchester Gilpatric

May 20, 2013

To Susan and your children, what a guy was my dear cousin Bobby! Sending you my deepest sympathy and sorrow for your loss.

Libby Manchester Gilpatric

May 20, 2013

Bob was my favorite cousin and pal during our high school days. He taught me how to drive his semi-automatic stick shift Mercury, probably 1957. I had no idea of his illness when he unexpectedly purchased a painting he had seen on my website in June 2012. In attempting to learn of his whereabouts on the occasion of the devastating tornado that hit Ok. City today, May 20, 2013, I am shocked and terribly sad to learn that he had been ill at that time. I send you, his family, my sincerest sympathy and sorrow at his passing. Bob was my best friend all through high school, attending Youth Group meetings at our church every week. We had a great friendship. My parents were Helen and Hugh Manchester, Bob's dad's second cousin. They grew up together playing on the family farm in Canfield. I hope and pray that no one in your family was harmed by the devastating storm that hit your area today. I hope you will keep in touch with us. You can find my contact information on my website:

kent talbot

February 27, 2013

When i feel the fairest of winds,
My eyes then roll the sky--
Knowing you'll soar forever,
God Bless you in Heaven, Big Guy.


December 25, 2012

Robert Manchester you were such a wonderful,caring,man.You helped everyone we all knew, We all think of you every day. God bless you Susan,for he loved you very much.All my thoughts and love. VICKI HARRIS

Karen Hester

December 12, 2012

Bob was my favorite boss . . . EVER! I am so sorry to hear that he has passed on, and that I was out of town when the funeral occurred. Knowing that he was a race fan seemed to help me, as we were at the Formua1Grand Prix in Austin at that time. My condolences to you, Susan, and the entire family. Love you, Bob, and will miss your presence on this planet. Sincerely yours, Karen Hester

Mitzi Welsh

December 10, 2012

There was no other Robert A. A tremendous loss to our family, law enforcement, the courts, and to the people of Oklahoma County. Road Warrior lost his "second dad." Our love and prayers to you Susan, Rob and family...