Cover photo for James William Manning's Obituary
James William Manning Profile Photo
1944 James 2023

James William Manning

June 11, 1944 — April 12, 2023

James Manning passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Wednesday April 12, 2023. Jim was born June 11, 1944, in Norwich Connecticut to Harold and Helene Manning. He grew up in Newington, CT and graduated from Newington High School. After completing an engineering degree at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, he was hired by Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Buffalo, NY. He married the love of his life, Marion Thomas in 1968. Together they raised 3 children, Tom, David, and Cynthia. In 1982, Jim was assigned to Bethlehem's new plant, and the family moved to Valpariaso, IN. There, Jim supervised the manufacture of the steel that is in our houses, cars, and buildings. Jim and Marion have been blessed with 5 grandchildren, whom they have spoiled rotten. Jim was very active in Boy Scouting. He was the second in four generations Manning men to attain Scouting's highest honor: the Eagle. He went on to become a Scout leader in Valpariaso, devoting countless hours to the betterment of young men in Troop 7, including his two sons. He was always a favorite Scout leader among the boys for his sense of humor and nurturing attitude. After retirement from Bethlehem, Marion and Jim moved to Cornville, AZ. There they fell in love with the beauty of Arizona and started a new chapter in their lives. Jim was again active in Scouting, helping begin a new troop in Cottonwood, and attending several national jamborees as a volunteer staff member. He expanded his devotion to our natural heritage by volunteering with Friends of the Forest. For years, he helped, and later led, volunteer trail work teams both in the Coconino and Prescott National Forests. Team members looked up to Jim for both his expertise, and sense of "trail humor." Next time you walk a trail in either forest, remember that there is a good chance Jim placed the stones underfoot. Jim was very active in the Skyliner's hiking group. He regularly led hikes, exploring new routes before taking the group. He was always excited by the wonders he found in nature and loved to share them on the hikes he led. He was always a favorite hike leader and trail crew member. In retirement Jim and Marion took a well-earned chance to explore the world; making their first trips overseas. They were able to explore many sites across Europe, South America, and Alaska. Jim was a life-long blood donor, donating gallons over the years to help save countless lives. Like his parents, Jim was a life-long member of the Catholic Church and donated many hours helping to serve those less fortunate. James is survived by his wife Marion, three children and five grandchildren. Jim leaves a legacy of a strong family, love of our natural world, and the satisfaction of a job well done. A Funeral Service will be held Friday May 5th at 10:30am at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cottonwood, with reception afterwards. A memorial hike will take place the next morning. Instead of Flowers, the family would appreciate an occasional phone call or letter. If you would like to honor Jim's legacy, take someone on a hike; show someone the world Jim loved.
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