This is the story of our Dad, Martin William Manning. Marty was the life of the party! He loved his parents, his kids, adventure, and women. He was an excellent salesman, retiring from 3M in his early fifties. Dad was also an aspiring draftsman & builder. He never sat; he continually rebuilt every home we ever lived in, by himself and with whomever he could enlist. With age came grandchildren, patience and wisdom, well, in most cases!
Marty became the kindest man; he welcomed every day with gratitude and every person with a smile. You would never guess he was fighting cancer. He talked to everyone; from the starter at the golf course, to the kid bagging groceries, to the waitress taking his order. Our Dad wanted to leave you smiling!
Marty was born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 13, 1941, the oldest child of Martin & Winona Manning, better known as “Sigh and Doods”. He grew up on Cleveland’s Eastside with his brother Bruce and sister Rena, graduating from Wickliffe High School in 1958, then attending Kent State University.
Marty loved traveling, instilling the same spirit of adventure in each of his five children, one daughter joined the Peace Corps, and another currently lives in Panamá. Dad took us on trips across Europe, North America, Australia, Latin America & Canada. We traveled “Manning Style”; he was the original Clark Griswold!
Dad’s favorite trip, by far was to The Whaler Inn on Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina every June. Family & friends gathered from all points for one of Dad’s greatest accomplishments, the annual Manning beach vacation, a tradition dating back to 1993. Dad had a plan, with his youngest daughter only nineteen at the time, he ensured that all of his kids (and theirs) would always get together every 24th week of the year. And, as our family grew, so did the celebration, more than 30 people attended last year.
Marty wasn’t into traditional team sports; in high school he earned his varsity letter in diving & synchronized swimming (why? girls!). But what Dad truly enjoyed was the great outdoors. He did it all; waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, body surfing, alpine skiing, ice sailing, snowshoeing, ice skating, & camping. Once he even jumped out of a plane after being egged on by his eldest son.
His favorite winter sport was snowmobiling! He rode trails throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, across New York, and Canada. He even ventured out West with friends on Safari sledding across Yellowstone National Park logging 600 hundred miles of white snow, mountains and blue skies.
In warmer climates, Dad loved golf. He grew up learning the game from his father and caddied summers with his brother at Manakiki Golf Course in Willoughby, Ohio. He shared his passion and competitiveness of the sport, playing golf with his kids and grandkids. In 2018, he checked The Masters Tournament off his Bucket List and won a Member Guest Tournament in 2019, accomplishing both with his youngest son, who he especially enjoyed challenging on the golf course.
Marty would tell you he’d be the last person to ever retire to Florida, but after a visit to The Villages, that’s exactly what he did. Dad’s last years were filled with friends new and old; playing golf, dancing in the square, floating in the pool, going to the movies and playing cards. All of Dad’s “Village People” became family, who he enjoyed so much and loved dearly.
In the end, being “Grandpa Marty” to his fifteen grandchildren was his ultimate joy. He had nine granddaughters and six grandsons, ranging in age from twenty-eight to ten-year-old twins. He was proud of each one and loved every minute they shared. In 2020, his heart broke (and ours) as he realized he would likely miss many important milestones in their lives; graduations, weddings, & especially great grandchildren.
Sadly, this is where Dad’s story ends. After battling prostate cancer for years, Marty passed away on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, Earth Day…somehow it seems appropriate. Dad left behind the people he loved on this Earth, & the world he loved to share and explore for a new adventure to somewhere just as beautiful.
Martin William Manning died on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 he was preceded in death by his loving parents Martin & Winona (nee Ruthenberg), and his brother Bruce Manning.
Marty will be deeply missed by his sister Rena and brother-in-law Roger Hatala.
Dad a proud father of five, will be profoundly missed by his children Michelle Winona (Joseph) Sullivan, Martin Scott (Theresa) Manning, Melissa Ann (Mark) Polcha, Michael John (Natalie) Manning, and Kelly Jean (Ted) Feller.
Grandpa Marty will always be remembered and missed, but will live on through his grandchildren; Audra Michelle, Martin Robert, Ryan Joseph, Madeline Paige, Michael Stephen, Sydney Rose, Mercedes Genevieve, Sierra Jean, Mary Leigh Elizabeth, Grace Ann, Maximus Scott, Charlotte Avery, Sadie Elizabeth, Garrett William & Gavin James.
Marty was loved by many beautiful women; he will be remembered by each in their own way; especially Sally Jean Manning (nee Robinson) his second wife, and his third wife Claude Lajeunesse. Marty was preceded in death by his first wife and mother of his children Mercedes Angela Boyette (nee Polito).
Marty will be missed by many cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and great friends scattered around the world, but especially those from Wickliffe High School, 3M National Advertising, Lake Mohawk (Ohio), Saint-Zenon (Canada) and The Villages (Florida).
Marty’s last request was to be cremated and laid to rest in Kent, Ohio next to Merce, the love of his life.
A “Celebration of Life” will take place in Cleveland, Ohio and The Villages, Florida when the world returns to normal.