Rudy Mancke Obituary: Columbia, SC – Rudy Mancke, a renowned naturalist and host of the popular SCETV show NatureScene, has died at the age of 78, his family confirmed. Mancke passed away on Tuesday, November 7th, surrounded by loved ones after battling liver disease.
Mancke was a beloved figure in South Carolina, sharing his passion for nature through his shows and educational programs. He co-created NatureScene in 1978, hosting the show for 25 years and taking viewers on field trips across the United States and abroad.
Early Life and Education
A South Carolina native, Mancke graduated from Wofford College before earning graduate degrees at the University of South Carolina. Prior to NatureScene, he worked as a natural history curator at the South Carolina State Museum and was a high school teacher.
NatureScene and SCETV
Mancke’s NatureScene broadcasts earned him a dedicated following nationwide and numerous awards during the show’s long run. His field trips brought nature into homes across America, showcasing Mancke’s curiosity, humor and joy for the natural world.
In addition to NatureScene, Mancke hosted the SC Public Radio program NatureNotes. Both shows allowed him to share his encyclopedic knowledge of ecology and passion for conservation.
Legacy and Impact
Beyond his television fame, Mancke made significant contributions to South Carolina’s naturalist community. He founded the South Carolina Association of Naturalists and served as a naturalist in residence at USC.
Mancke inspired generations of viewers, listeners and students to appreciate the wonder of the natural world. His family says introducing children and grandchildren to nature was one of his greatest joys.
Remembrances – Rudy Mancke Obituary
Ellen Mancke, Rudy’s wife, said her husband was surrounded by his whole family at the end. Mancke is remembered for his enthusiasm, humor and ability to unveil the magic of nature, from his own backyard to the farthest reaches of the planet.
South Carolina has lost a legendary naturalist, but Mancke’s legacy lives on through the thousands he inspired to protect the natural world.