Manuel “JR” Mancebo, former owner of Kings County Truck Lines and supporter of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, passed away on Sunday, June 17.

In 2017, the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology announced that Mancebo pledged a $1 million bequest in support of the Fresno State dairy science program. Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro, Jordan College Dean Sandra Witte, faculty, staff, students and industry supporters honored Mancebo and his late wife last year for the donation with a club banquet in Tulare.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of Mr. Manuel Mancebo’s passing. As an icon of the San Joaquin Valley’s dairy industry, he was a cherished friend and supporter of Fresno State,” said Dr. Joseph I. Castro, president of Fresno State. “His generous gift to the University will provide vital support to the next generation of agricultural leaders in the Valley and beyond. I am honored that our dairy science program will perpetuate the Mancebo legacy of both Mr. Mancebo and his late wife, Katye.”

Mancebo started as a mechanic apprentice for the family company at the age of 17, before climbing the company ranks, and taking over the family business in 1971 at 41 years old. He helped build Kings County Truck Lines into an industry leader, developing a reputation for its reliable and safe transportation of milk products and dry goods throughout the Central Valley and Southern California, before selling the company in 2006.

Mancebo and his wife, Katye, who passed in Nov. 2014, were both large supporters of several local charities including Valley Children’s Hospital, St. Aloysius Catholic Church, among other community- and education-based organizations.

In recognition of their generosity, Fresno State will request that the campus dairy production facility be renamed the Manuel “JR” and Katye Mancebo Dairy.

A rosary and funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 25, at the Saint Aloysius Church in Tulare. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made payable to the Ag One Foundation for the dairy science program.

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