Dr. Alton Cordell Manning
Dr. Alton Cordell Manning 79, of Springfield, died Sunday July 21, 2013 after a brief illness. He was born August 24, 1933 in Noel, Missouri, the son of Clifford and Virgie Manning. After graduating from Noel High School he joined the U.S. Army serving in Germany. Upon his return he attended Missouri State University where he received a bachelor's degree in education. He went on to earn a master's degree and subsequently a doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas.
Al was dedicated to improving the education and well-being of children and youth. During his career he taught high school science, served as principal of Reed Junior High School and as Director of Pupil Personnel Services for Springfield Public Schools. Al served in numerous leadership positions within the Parent Teacher Association, Golden Key National Honor Society, the Springfield Education Association and was instrumental in developing the Adopt-a-School Program in Springfield. After retiring from Springfield Public Schools he worked for seventeen years in the College of Education at Missouri State University.
A man of deep faith, Al was active in and served on the board of National Avenue Christian Church, led the task force responsible for developing Gateway Christian Church, served with the Christian Church of Mid America, Disciples of Christ, and was a member and elder emeritus of South Street Christian Church.
Al was an active community leader serving on the boards of the local Girl Scouts and Camp Fire Girls, the Child Advocacy Council, United Way of the Ozarks, Downtown Kiwanis Club, Crosslines, and Council of Churches. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and a volunteer at Mercy Hospital's surgical center.
He loved music, reading, and was a superb writer. Al lived a life of service and integrity. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Elizabeth; sister Doris Manning of Springfield; sister-in-law Frances Talley of Fayetteville, Arkansas; brother-in-law Alfred Morris and wife Barbara of Nashville, Tennessee; sister-in-law Carolyn Morris of Tulsa, Oklahoma and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
A memorial service celebrating Al's life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, July 25, at South Street Christian Church, 500 South Street, Springfield, Missouri under the direction of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. No visitation is scheduled; however friends may call after 1:00 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the University of Arkansas Foundation (reference "Alton and Elizabeth Manning Scholarship"), Attn: Julie Olsen, University of Arkansas, Graduate Education Building 319, Fayetteville, AR 72701; South Street Christian Church Foundation, 500 South Ave., Springfield, MO 65806; or the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools, 1131 Boonville, Springfield, MO 65802.
Published in the News-Leader on July 23, 2013