Recently I received word from several of his classmates that Allen Dammann had passed away at his home in Portland, Maine, but I wanted to wait until I heard official news and to make sure that all family members were notified first.
Then on Friday, I was contacted by Al's sister, Jess, and she confirmed the shocking & sad news about the passing of Allen.

Allen was a VERY creative & ingenious person and while in school at Manning, he worked with me (along with 150 other kids and adults) on local cable TV Channel 2 programming.
Some of Allen's ideas at the time were not fully understood or appreciated, but we were way ahead of the curve with video skits which were long before the Internet and Youtube.

They were corny but now are precious when you can see and hear people who have passed away.

I don't happen to have one of Al's skits digitized right now but below I have links to several of those skits we did during the 1980s when Allen was involved...I also cued up several video tapes that have Allen in them and did a quick transfer to digital, one of which is the 1987 commencement exercises.
Remember this was long before the digital age. I had to edit with video tape and VCRs - no computer technology yet.
Around the mid-1980s, I found out I could have my 2 video cameras genlocked so I sent them to a place in Florida where they were synchronized which gave me fading and jumping capabilities from one camera to the other.
For instance, we had one camera on the floor level and one up in the bleachers at basketball games, PLUS we had live play by play commentary by people as young as 10 year old Patrick "Spanky" Vollstedt.

Honoring Allen Dammann

Allen Dammann MHS 1987
Allen Dammann passed away on August 13, 2020, at the age of 51 in Portland, Maine.
Allen attended schools at Manning, Iowa, and graduated with the class of 1987. He was senior class president and very active in the school and community.
After graduation from the University of Iowa, Allen joined the Peace Corps. He was an English teacher in Taiwan from 1992-1994. From there he went to Lithuania where he taught English from 1995-1997. In 1998, he was a writer for the Casco Bay Weekly in Portland, Maine, and also worked in New York City. NYC was his favorite place to live.
He was also a Post-Katrina C.O.R.E. Volunteer in September 2005.

Allen, son of Richard and Elaine (Irlbeck) Dammann, grew up in Manning with three sisters and two brothers, Toni, Jessica, Micheal, Joseph, and Cindi.
A brother-in-law, Youi Sayavong, preceded Allen in death.
Allen's oldest sister, Toni (Dammann) Sayavong, has three children Annah (Vollstedt) Hale, Hanley Sayavong, and Eliot Sayavong. Annah married Jacob Hale and they have one daughter, Florence.
Jessica (Dammann) Hansen has two children: Lucas, and Marcus, who are both serving in the military. Tracy Hansen is their father. Lucas has one son, Luca. Marcus and his wife, Janelle, have three children: Coltin, Eliza, and Jonah.
Micheal Dammann has one son, Austin. Austin has two children, Austin, Jr., and Reese.
Joseph Dammann and his wife Laura have one son, Emmett. Joseph is retired from the Iowa National Guard.
Cindi has two children: Ramsey and Finley, along with her husband, Mike Spiker, and his three children to complete the family of seven. Cindi is currently serving in the military.
Allen also had a special pet cat named "Troubles" who apparently picked up Allen's traits…probably because he spoiled his cat so much.
Allen was cremated in Maine and his ashes will be scattered in New York City at a future date due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when family members are able to gather safely for a private family service.

1987 MHS graduates: Jodi Lynn Ahrendsen, Robin Carl Borkowski, Deanna Lea Clarke, James Patrick Croghan, Paul David Croghan, Allen L. Dammann, Neela Ann Dunshee, Lori Ann Eickman, Vincent Gerard Enenbach, Keith Robert Escher, Gale D. Fischer, Judith Ann Genzen, Tonya Sue Hagedorn, Lissa Susan Haubrich, Lisa Mae Herbers (salutatorian), Daniel R. Hicks, Aneal Kevin Joseph, Eric John Kelderman, Daniel William Kemper, David John Mohr, Sheila Lynn Morris, Vicki Sue Ramsey, Kari Beth Ringgenberg, Traci Elin Rix, Tiffany Jane Robinson, Daniel Albert Schlichte, Debra Ann Schulte, Ari Seki, Tracy Sue Singsank, Paula Jean Spies, Jeffry Joe Sporrer, Crystal Dawn Stammer (valedictorian), Lori Ann Stoberl, Russell J. Sturm, Joni Lynn Waterbury, Heath Aric Weiss, Theresa E. Willenborg, Tina Marie Wiskus

1987 former students: Robbi Behen, Ellen Blohm, Brenda Clipperton, Terry Craig, Gaylene Dammann, Leon Fischer, David Frahm, RaeJean Hickey, Elizabeth Maxwell, Neil Merely, Roberta Moore, Vincent Mullen, Brett Nissen, Mathew Popp, Steven Rauch, Ann Schwarte, Jeremy Siegle, Jennifer Sporrer, Shanda Stecklein, Samuel Vaughn, Thomas Vaughn, William Vaughn, Jeffrey Vondrak, Bill Wilson, Megan Wright

1987 Senior Video
As I recall, Kari Ringgenberg asked me to make a video of the class of 1987 and dub the song "St. Elmo's Fire love theme" as background music and then show it at graduation.
At the time I had the first front-projection 60" big screen TV that I had been using to show videos of events I filmed in and around Manning. I got this TV before local cable TV was installed where I could then show my programming on the local station.

So Dave Schroeder helped me haul my big screen into the school and up the steps to the balcony where we could show the video.
This was the first of its kind graduation video that I know of.
I purchased my first VCR in 1978 and my first video camera in 1979 - the first one sold in Western Iowa, according to Don Zubrod of Don's TV in Manning.


1987 commencement ceremony.
I hope you pay special attention to the guest speaker and his message.
How important it is for people today to hear!!!
1987 Commencement

Program and credits for commencement

Small Town - shown during the 1987 Channel 2 Telethon

7 Dwarfs

Three Stooges
Written and produced by Bruce Beasley

Splish Splash

They're Playing Basketball
Produced by Scott Mills & Nate Boersma - and the "gals."
Camera controls by Chuck Hughes.

Little Arrows

More snippets and highlights of the 1986-87 school year
The track section isn't very good, but the rest is pretty decent...
Make sure to watch Paula Spies play the character of Helen Keller!

1981 Centennial style show - Dick & Elaine Dammann family

1981 Manning Centennial history book
Richard and Elaine (Irlbeck) Dammann are both native Manning citizens. Both were raised and educated in or around Manning; they now reside at 120 East Street in Manning with their four children, Toni Jean, Jessica Sue, Micheal John, and Allen Lester.
Richard "Dick," the son of Lester and Ruby (Cavanaugh) Dammann, was a 1957 graduate of Manning High School and Elaine, the daughter of Anselm and Wilhelmina (Steffes) Irlbeck, was a 1960 graduate of Manning High School.
After Dick spent four years in the U.S. Air Force, he returned to Manning. He is now the owner of Manning Auto Supply at 305 Main Street in Manning. Elaine attended the American Institute of Business in Des Moines after graduation from high school, and is presently employed at the Manning Trust & Savings Bank in Manning.

View of the Lester & Ruby Dammann farm - part of ManCryCo
Note the underpass still there.
The Hiawatha passenger train is on the old Milwaukee tracks.
One of several passenger trains that traveled through Manning, up to 100 MPH

Allen, like most anyone in who grew up in Manning has a deep-rooted connection to the community.
Many times most people don't even realize all of the family connections they have.

Over the next few days I'll keep adding more pictures and information.
It seems there aren't enough hours in the day anymore to keep ahead of all of the projects that come before me, but I'll do my best...

1981 Manning Centennial book

1203 Third Street home
Claus and Margaret Dammann were born, raised and married and started their family in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. In 1885, they and their two sons, Henry and John, migrated to the United States and settled in Minnesota. There, their family grew by three more - Annie, George, and Bill. In 1891, they moved to a farm two miles south and a mile west of Manning where Claus made his living as a farmer. Another son, Herman, a daughter, Emma and another son, Harry completed the family of Claus and Margaret.

Henry (known best as Hank), the eldest son, was married in 1900 to Emma Kortum. They first made their home and living on a farm just east of Templeton and then later moved to the Douglas Rogers farm 1 mile north and 1/2 mile east of Manning. Eventually, they, too (as Hank's parents) lived and farmed at the farm south and west of Manning. It was at this farm that the Dammanns had a small dairy herd. Like all farmers of that day, they separated their milk maybe a little differently. They used a small pony to "power" their separator.

Emma and Hank were parents of five children: Vena, Rosie, Hazel, Goldie and Lester.

After some time Hank quit farming and moved to the town of Manning. Here he owned a livery barn. The first barn was located on Main Street in the area now occupied by the Manning Plaza; later he and his brother, John, moved their livery barn to what is now Manning Motor Company. Another brother, Herman, worked with them. They maintained a few horses which could be rented for those needing a mode of travel or for funerals and weddings. Another service was to stable horses of travelers and, particularly, for the many who came to dance at the Manning dance hall located near the barn.

Following many years in the livery barn business, Hank became town constable for Manning. It was his job to serve any legal papers, evict non-paying renters, and, in general, keep the peace.

The only son of Hank and Emma, Lester, married Ruby Cavanaugh of Audubon and they, too, soon settled in the Manning area. The depression hit and Lester considered himself one of the lucky ones - he was working. He was a common laborer at the ManCryCo Farms, a dairy operation near Manning. They purchased a small acreage in the nearby village of Aspinwall and Lester continued to work at the farms. In 1946, Lester became herdsman of the ManCryCo herd. It was then that they moved from Aspinwall to the farm on the northwest edge of Manning's city limits. In 1963, Lester and Ruby purchased the dairy farm and herd from owner, Leo Bruck, and continued to build the well-known herd.

One of the largest dairy dispersals ever held in Iowa was held at the farm in September of 1974 when the dairy herd was sold.

Lester and Ruby continue to live at the farm and still have a crop, pig, and stock cow operation - and sometimes a small milking herd.

They are parents of six children: LeRoy, who farms west of Manning; Richard, owner-operator of Manning Auto Supply; Sandra (Mrs. Keith Hass), secretary and agent at Manning Insurance Agency; Geraldine (Mrs. Kenneth Spies), bookkeeper at Manning Heating & Sheet Metal, all of Manning. Youngest daughter, Nancy (Mrs. DeWayne McCord) of Carroll, clerks at a department store there. Another son, Kenneth, was tragically killed in a car-pedestrian accident in Cedar Falls, in 1973. At the time of his death, Kenneth was serving as state president of the Iowa Chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation of America.

The newest generation of the Dammann family consists of a total of 14 grandchildren - 12 of whom attend school at the Manning Community School.

For some families I have all kinds of pictures and others I will not have pictures of every family member, but I still show what I have to give the viewer an idea who is part of the immediate and extended family...

Toni Dammann - MHS 1981

Jessica Dammann - a 1982 MHS graduate

7th grade fall of 1978

Mike Dammann MHS 1984

Back: Kevin Kahl, Dani Ramsey, Jay Curlie, Marty Popp
Middle: Jim Wanninger, Mike Dammann, Nate Hodne, Jeff Waterbury, Brian Reid, Bruce Grau
Front: Darwin Rohe, Keith Muhlbauer, Kevin Boersma, Jim Weiskircher, Dan Kerkhoff, Tom Long

Joe Dammann MHS 1999
1999 Prom court

Back: Tim Hugeback, Joe Dammann, Matt Siepker, Steven Snyder, Aaron Stangl, Paul Odendahl
Front: Megan Hinners, Kelly Dentlinger, Julie Riggert, Pam Holloway, Tonya Wurr, Jennifer Stribe

Cindi Dammann MHS 2002


Joe Dammann



Richard Dammann Air Force

Richard Dammann MHS 1957

LeRoy Dammann MHS 1952

Kenneth "Red" Dammann MHS 1955

Sandra Dammann MHS 1959

Geraldine Dammann MHS 1962

Trumpet Trio: Bruce Fischer, Harlan Moore, Geri Dammann

Keith Hass & Sandra Dammann 1959 Comet Dance

LeRoy Dammann US Army

Richard Dammann 3rd grade Aspinwall Independent School

LeRoy Dammann 7th grade Aspinwall Independent School

Kenneth Dammann 4th grade Aspinwall Independent School

Sandra Dammann Primary grade Aspinwall Independent School

Paula Spies & Anissa Hass - cousins

LeAnn Dammann, Anissa Hass, Leslee Dammann
LeAnn & Leslee - LeRoy and Freda Dammann's daughters
Anissa - Keith and Sandra (Dammann) Hass' daughter

To see Elaine (Irlbeck) family connections click here...

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