Sunday, December 13, 2009

A lion of the North Side

When you talk of great Youngstown patriarchs, John Manning's name is at the top of the list. Northsider's knew the Manning's and Lowry's as probably the largest Catholic families ever to run the halls of St. Ed's, Ursuline and Rayen. Many people I met, when looking at me, would ask, "Are you a Manning?" When I replied 'No, a Lowry,' the comment back usually ended with, 'same thing'. Mr. Manning passed away Friday evening after a brief illness. It was an honor to have known him and an even greater honor to consider several of his grandchildren among my closest friends.


John P. Manning Sr.

YOUNGSTOWN – John P. Manning Sr. returned to the Lord on Dec. 11. 2009.

He was born on Sept. 3, 1920, in Youngstown. His parents, Michael Manning and Mary Gilmore, were Irish immigrants from County Galway and County Mayo respectively.

From 1926 to 1935, he attended St. Edward’s School in Youngstown where he completed his grade school education. He spent his high school years at The Rayen School, graduating in 1939.

While at Rayen, Mr. Manning was in a number of activities. He played football, earning two letters. He was the basketball manager from 1938 to 1939. He competed in track and was on the intramural basketball team. While in high school, he worked at McKelvey’s department store on the delivery truck.

After graduation, John worked in shipping at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube, Cold Strip Plant, until the end of 1941. In January of 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served until his discharge in February of 1946. He served stateside, assigned to anti-aircraft and light tank detail. Early in 1944, he was sent to the Pacific Theater, where he served in the Amphibian Tractor Battalion in the Philippines and Japan.

While stationed in Osaka, he played football as center for the I Corp Headquarters in Osaka Stadium against the 33rd Division. It was the first American football game ever in Japan. While in Japan he served as water commissioner for the government in Japan and taught math to American soldiers.

After the military, John came home to Youngstown where he attended Youngstown State while working at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. He enrolled at Ohio University in September of 1946 and graduated in 1949 with a B.S.C. Degree. While at OU, he made the Inter-fraternity All-Star Team as a center. In 1950, he attended graduate school at Youngstown State, in Business Administration, and majored in five subjects: Accounting, Math, Economics, Business and Finance.

Mr. Manning started his employment at the Koppers Company in February 1950. He was their office manager for 31 years. He handled all traffic, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventories, and all union negotiations. John retired in May of 1981. He also worked many years for the diocese of Youngstown as an accountant.

John Manning was very active in our community. The following is a list of the many organizations and fundraising drives he has served on: Hospice of Youngstown, St. Edward School fund for Ursuline & Mooney, Ursuline High Boosters, Ursuline High School Nick Johnson Committee, Mill Creek Child Care Center, Youngstown Traffic Club, Chesterton Club, SCORE of Youngstown State, Stambaugh Pillars, Sierra Club of Youngstown, Manning Investment Company, Doris Burdman Home, Mill Creek Child Development Center, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Ursuline Sisters Solo Deo Club, St Edward Mission Club, St Edward PTA, Northside Citizens Coalition, Oblate Sisters Cinquata Club, District XI on Aging, Goodwill Industries, Mahoning Transitional Homes, Newman Club Member, Chairman of Inter -fraternity Greek Week Affair, Jewish Community Center, Youngstown St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, Mahoning Valley Gaelic Society Charter Member. He worked on many area fundraising drives, to name a few, Youngstown Public Libraries, United Way, Youngstown Cancer Drive, Diabetes Drive for Northside Hospital, Gilliagans Campaign for Governor, White House on Education for Ohio, and Ursuline Capital Campaign.

He was also an avid Notre Dame and YSU fan.

He was made an honorary alumni of Ursuline High School in 1998.

John Manning married Kathleen Reagan on Sept. 16, 1950. She passed away July 23, 1991 after 41 years of marriage.

He is survived by five sons; Michael (Linda) of Liberty, Fr. Patrick of Walsh University in Canton, Thomas (Alice) of Youngstown, Edgar (Shirley) of Boardman and Liam (Nicole) of Raleigh, N.C.; four daughters, Kathleen (James) Zidian of Boardman, Marian (Mark) Acerra of Girard, Margaret Bishop of Mathews, N.C., and Martina (Dominic) Marzano of Struthers.

He also leaves his beloved grandchildren of whom he was so proud, Meredyth Ray, Jessica McKenna, Dylan and Zachary Acerra, Patrick, Thomas and Meaghan Manning, Katie Taylor, Gregory Thompson, Elliot and Liam Bishop, Kellie, Colleen, Erin, Mikayala and Sean Manning; three great-grandchildren, Madison, Oliva and Will; and one sister, Claire Nissen

In 1998, he took the entire Manning clan to visit their ancestral home in Ireland.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 41 years, Kathleen Anne Reagan; as well as a daughter, Colleen Anne; and a grandson, Sean; a sister, Helen; and two brothers Edward and William.

Calling hours will be Monday at St. Edward The Confessor Catholic Church from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. and from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Most Rev. George V. Murry, S.J., D.D., Ph. D., will preside at the Funeral liturgy at St Edward Church at 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions take the form of donations to the Hospice of The Valley, The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, or Ursuline High School.

McVean, Hughes & McClurkin Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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