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Jerry "Papa D" J. Dishman Sr.

Jerry Jerry Dishman Sr, 80, Manhattan Kansas, passed away peacefully at home June 10, 2021.
He was born May 16th, 1941, to Calvin and Ruth (Harrison) Dishman in Stockdale, Kansas and went to school in the Manhattan area.

Jerry joined the Army in November 1959 where he served with the 4th Armored Division until being honorably discharged November 19, 1964. He was a veteran of the Vietnam Era.

Jerry married Belva June Hurst of Carthage, Missouri and remained married to the love of his life until Belva passed away in 2018.

Jerry began his work for the City of Manhattan as a teenager working as a summer seasonal worker in 1956. Following his service in the Army, he returned to Manhattan and in 1968 was the Cemetery Foreman for 1 year and then began as a Maintenance Worker until 1974. At that time, he became the Cemetery Sexton and was a Parks Supervisor until 1981 when he was the Zoo Curator for the Sunset Zoo. He was then the Park Resources Superintendent for a year until being promoted to Park Superintendent where he remained for the next 20 years.

During that time, he received numerous recognitions for his many contributions to the Manhattan community until his retirement in 2002. One of his proudest accomplishments was the development of Frank Anneberg Park, a sprawling park & sports complex featuring over 100 acres of lighted sports fields, trails, and picnic areas. In 2006, after 35 years of dedicated service to the Manhattan community, the park’s stocked lake, that provides area youth with fishing opportunity, was officially named Jerry Dishman Lake.

In his spare time, you could find Jerry fishing, hunting all kinds of animals or making hand-made knives from deer antlers. He also enjoyed playing bingo. He was quick with a smile, a handshake, and a story, some reliving his many pranks he shared with friends.

Jerry leaves behind his daughter Jackie Santo (Russell Santo), his son Jerry Dishman Jr (Robin Dishman) and daughter Kim Dishman (Damon Hopkins) along with 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters MarJo Schober, Mary James and brother Calvin Dishman.

The family will greet friends during a visitation from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday June 15, 2021 at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home in Manhattan.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday June 16, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church, 612 Poyntz in Manhattan, with Rev. Ben Duerfeldt officiating. Interment with military honors will follow the service at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery at Fort Riley, 5181 Wildcat Creek Road in Manhattan.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions in memory of Jerry to the Sunset Zoo. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

Online condolences may be left through the funeral home website at

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