Jacqueline Manning Flick

Sept. 29, 1939 – April 18, 2024


Jacqueline Manning Flick died on April 18 at Monte Vista Grove Homes in Pasadena of complications arising from Alzheimer’s disease. She was 84. Jackie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2019 but was able to remain comfortably in her home until seven weeks before her death.

Born in Hettinger, North Dakota on Sept. 29, 1939 to Joe and Hazel (Seymour) Manning, Jackie was the third of 11 children, all girls until brother Dean finally arrived in 1955 to everyone’s astonishment. She graduated from Hettinger High School in 1957 and moved to Southern California where she worked as an au pair and a city parks & recreation leader while pursuing higher education at Glendale College and California State University Los Angeles (then called Los Angeles State College), earning a B.A. degree in English in 1962.

Jackie married Bill Semerau in 1960 and the couple moved to La Crescenta where they had three children: Chris (Ellen), Karen and John. She later moved to Pasadena and in 1997 married Arend Flick, who survives her.

Jackie worked for many years in the Southern California book business. She was the children’s and religion book buyer for Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena and then opened and managed bookstores in Studio City, Beverly Hills, Glendale and South Pasadena. Later, she managed an office for an aerial photographer, taught ESL, and worked as a teacher’s aide for special needs students. She retired in 2007 to be able to help her parents in the years leading up to their deaths.

Besides her husband and children, Jackie is survived by granddaughters Kathryn, Shelly, Amy and grandson Takoda; sisters Joan, Judy, Karin, Loah, Gail; brother Dean; and 21 nieces and nephews along with their children. She was preceded in death by her first husband; sisters Cathleen and Corinne (twins), Janet, Leah; nephew Tom and niece Claire, as well as her parents.

Jackie had a rich and fulfilling life. She climbed Vogelsong Peak in Yosemite when she was seven months pregnant, learned to operate a 1½-inch gauge model train at Los Angeles Live Steamers (the only certified female engineer at the time), and hiked and sledded near the family cabin in Wrightwood. In her later years with Arend in Pasadena, she babysat nieces and grandchildren; enjoyed theater, opera and concerts; cruised to Alaska; and traveled by train throughout the United States, happily tolerating her husband’s aviophobia. She especially relished annual car journeys to North Dakota for family reunions where she indulged her passion for photography and the prairie.

Jackie also loved to laugh … and she laughed a lot. She was empathetic, kind and generous, always more concerned with the happiness of others than her own. She “adopted” reclusive neighbors, taking them to doctors’ appointments and grocery stores. She gave thoughtful and generous Christmas gifts even to her trash collectors. In the care center, days before her death she would reach out to greet and comfort other residents as she passed by them in her wheelchair. She was loved in turn by a wide circle of friends, former work colleagues and neighbors. As one neighbor put it, she radiated light.

Jackie was also remarkable for the pleasure she took in the simplest of activities and experiences. Picking a flower from her garden, walking the streets of her neighborhood, spotting and interacting with a dog or a toddler (or, if none were available, a rock) could give her contentment, even delight. She loved NPR, Haagen-Dazs bars, Gustavo Dudamel and Esa-Pekka Salonen, phone conversations with siblings, toasted raisin cinnamon walnut bread, the Three Stooges, Dolly Parton, the novels of Louise Erdrich and Marilynne Robinson, the Great Plains, a good glass of chardonnay and, most of all, her family whom she loved with a particular fierceness. Early in their relationship, she told Arend that her family was the best gift she could give him. She was wrong. It was the second-best gift.

A celebration of life is planned for 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Hettinger Country Club (built by her parents). It will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person. Donations in her name may be made to the La Crescenta Library, of which she was a long-time member.