Harold V. Manson
January 23, 1932 - February 1, 2013
Resident of San Jose
Harold V. Manson passed away on Friday, February 1, 2013, after a lengthy illness. Born into dire poverty during the Great Depression, he rose to a high military rank and then became a respected community leader during his six years of residence in Monterey and 38 years in Santa Clara County.
Harold was born in Rockport, Texas, along the Gulf Coast. He later moved with his mother to Houston, where he attended and graduated from Phillis Wheatley Senior High School. Harold spent one year of high school with his father in Los Angeles and attended Thomas Jefferson High School.
After high school, Harold attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, graduating with a bachelor's in journalism. He served as editor of both the University newspaper and the yearbook. In 1955, as a senior, Harold was named one of the five best journalism students in the nation.
Harold also participated in track athletics, Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc., Fraternity, and ROTC at Lincoln. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army. His military career took him and his wife and children to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana; two posts in Germany; Sandia Base, New Mexico, the nation's premier secret atomic weapons base; Korea, and Vietnam. His final assignment in the Army was as deputy commander and acting commander of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. In 1975, he retired as a lieutenant colonel. His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star
(for his service in Vietnam); the Meritorious Service Medal; and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Following his military retirement, Harold served a brief stint with the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety. Later, he commenced a twenty year career as an administrative executive in the Office of the President at San Jose State University. In this capacity, he served as registrar and completely re-vamped the registration process. He oversaw labor relations and represented the University and the president.
Harold was very active in community affairs. In Monterey, he coached a Little League team, some of whom eventually made it to Major League Baseball. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club in both San Jose and Monterey. He served on the San Jose City Traffic Commission and the board of directors of Good Samaritan Hospital. He also served several terms as a member of the Santa Clara County Grand Jury. In 1976, he earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Lillian Jeanette Gines Manson; four children, Craig, of Carmichael, California; Terry, of El Paso, Texas; Che Pittman-Lewis, of San Jose; and David, also of San Jose; four grandchildren and two great grandchildren He was preceded in death by one grandchild.
Family and friends are invited to a Visitation and Rosary from 5:00 to 9:00 pm, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, at Darling-Fischer Garden Chapel, 471 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose. A funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 am Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, at St Joseph's Basilica Cathedral, 80 South Market Street in San Jose. Burial will follow at Los Gatos Memorial Park, 2255 Los Gatos#8212;Almaden Road, San Jose.