Jeffrey Donelson Manookin (also known as Jeff Manookian), age 67, passed away July 10, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah from the rapid and devastating effects of a recently diagnosed lymphoma. Jeff was born November 24, 1953 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the second child of Stuart and Shirley Manookin. He attended Salt Lake City public schools and graduated from Highland High School in 1972. He served a LDS mission to Argentina and earned degrees in music from the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. In his youth, he was best known for being a piano prodigy and began early accumulating many impressive awards and accomplishments. As a youth, he appeared on stage with Liberace and was a guest on early television programs including the Mike Douglas Show, the Joe Franklin Show, and the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. His accomplishments as a performer, conductor, composer, and music academic are almost too numerous to list. He performed on national television in the Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia and appeared as a soloist with orchestras across the globe. He was a prolific composer. His works have been performed in many countries, garnering numerous awards and accolades. He has been the music director of the Theatre Orchestra of Tucumán (Argentina), the Intermountain Classical Orchestra (Salt Lake City), University of Utah Summer Arts Orchestra, Westminster Chamber Orchestra (Salt Lake City), artistic director of the Oratorio Society of Utah, and the Utah Youth Symphony. He was a music critic for the Salt Lake Tribune. At the time of his death, he was on staff at the Utah Conservatory in Park City. Jeff will be remembered as someone with a unique life outlook and quick, dry sense of humor, but mostly as one who was singularly focused on his music. Included in his final words was the desire that the totality of his music catalog be placed in the public domain for all to enjoy. He is survived by his spouse Angel Perez Carranza; his siblings John (Kim) Manookin, Scott (Jean) Manookin, and Wendy (Bob) Elkington; nephews and extended family. At Jeff’s request, there will be no memorial service.
Life Story Info
We are devastated at the news of Jeff's passing. He was a dear friend for 30 years, and will be missed greatly. His immense talents and accomplishments will make him immortal across the globe. More than that, his friendship, humor, and smile will be sorely absent from a world which desperately needs those qualities. Que te desacansas en paz, muy querido amigo.
To Jeff's Family: I am relieved to know that Jeff is no longer suffering and that he is finally at peace. I hope you all know how much I adored you all and what a beautiful family you have. The love and unwavering support you provided to Jeff was truly a gift to behold. I am a better person for knowing you all. All of my love to you.
Dear Manookin family:
I´m so sorry for this loss, he was one of a kind, a true artist and a warm, full of life and wise human being. I´ll always remember and treasure his friendship. His legacy is in all who knew him and in the future generations that will know his works, he´ll never die in our memory and in the sound of his music. Wish you soon integration of this hard experience.
Marco Alejandro Gil
Manookin Family, I’m saddened to hear of Jeff’s passing and send my heartfelt condolences to all of you. He was so incredibly gifted and certainly sounds like he has left an amazing legacy of great music for all to enjoy in the years to come. I’ll always remember that big smile as he played the piano so beautifully. Thinking of you at this very tender time.
Dearest Jeff!! You're missed...I'm so sad, but the time and the distance cannot longer break us apart... you are eternal now, as eternal as the music you left to us to remembered you. I had the privilege of being your friend, and being choosen by you, Dearest, to sing us a soprano soloist in the Southamerican premier interpretation of your REQUIEM on April 2008. It was a fantastic experience sharing with you work, music and laughs. Now, I have to let you go: I free to Heaven my memories and sent you lots of kisses and love!!
What a heartbreaking shock to hear this news. Jeff was so generous with his talent all across the world and much appreciated by so many. I had a lot of fun with him years ago when he was reviewing the Utah Symphony and I volunteered for Patron Services there. What a profound loss. My heart goes out to all his family and loved ones.
Oh dear Manookin family. I am stunned and deeply saddened to read this about Jeff. He’s so young and such great talent. I have such fond memories of my time together with him and your family. I loved him and he taught me some great lessons.We have kept in touch over the years and I’m just so glad he was back in Utah. My love to all of you at this time. May peace and comfort be with all of you.
Jul 1, 2021
Jeffrey was such an amazing patient to have on BMT at huntsman. His smile would light up the room. I loved hearing about his life stories and cracking jokes about the hospital food. Fly high!
Jul 11, 2021
You're eternal!!It's a privilege be your friend, and your soprano in the S-American premier of your REQUIEM April 2008. A fantastic experience sharing with you music and laughs. Now, I have to let you go: I free to Heaven my memories and my love!
Jul 12, 2021
First knew about him when reading about his pedagogic works with his "Gradus" repertoire, then held a virtual friendship for some years, he was very kind with me and my work, also very generous and open minded, I´ll always treasure his memory and legacy