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Manson Wright McCracken

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Manson Wright McCracken died Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, at the Betty Dare Good Samaritan Center in Alamogordo. He was born on Aug. 29, 1916, in Alamogordo to William Manson "Steve" McCracken and Mary Ann "Annie" Wright McCracken and was the second of eight children. Steve and Annie were pioneers to the region. Annie and her family homesteaded in 1900 in a region now known as Timberon, while Steve arrived from Texas in 1895, worked as a ranch hand and ultimately established the McCracken Ranch, now known as Bug Scuffle Ranch.
From an early age, Manson worked herding angora goats on the family ranch until a severe dustbowl-era drought forced the herd's destruction. Manson then turned to work as a logger, a job which took him all over the Sacramento Mountains for the next quarter century. Working first for Southwestern Lumber and then Prestridge Lumber Company, Manson principally operated heavy machinery.
It was during these years that Manson met and married Frances V. Daugherty, the daughter of another pioneering family. Meeting at a dance in Cloudcroft (they both loved to dance) the couple courted for five years before marrying in El Paso on July 11, 1941. Together, they had three children: Richard (Tim), Gary (Jummy) and Louise. The family lived for most of their early years in logging camps in the Sacramento Mountains, primarily near Weed, where the children attended school.
In 1960, the family moved to Alamogordo, where Manson worked for the next 32 years for his friend Buster Lane, first at Lane Plumbing and G and L Construction and then for 23 years at Alamo Pipe and Supply, where he ultimately retired in 1993.
Manson's marriage to Frances encompassed 52 wonderful and fulfilling years, until her illness and death on Dec. 20, 1993.
Manson's experiences on the ranch and in his logging career created a deep knowledge and love of the mountains that would last a lifetime. Whether he was scouting for arrowheads, hunting for deer or just camping with family, he loved to be out in the "country." Listening to his trove of stories about his life and experiences was a favorite experience of family and friends, especially around the campfire.
Manson is survived by his children and their spouses, Richard (Tim) McCracken and wife, Phyllis, of Alamogordo, Gary (Jummy) McCracken and wife, Richalan, of Albuquerque, and Louise Pate and husband, Scott, of Boles Acres; by grandchildren Richard (Rick) McCracken Jr., Todd McCracken, Gary McCracken, Daniel Pate, Michael Pate and Cori Lacy; by 13 great-grandchildren; and by sisters Maurita Brown, of El Paso, Maudean Bates, of La Luz, and Ruthena Hamm, of Alamogordo.
Manson was preceded in death by his wife, Frances; parents Steve and Annie McCracken; and by four siblings, Gertrude Snyder, Annie (Doot) Bonnell, Wilson (Curl) McCracken and Steve (Bud) McCracken.
Memorial service will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010, at the Alamogordo Funeral Home chapel with Ron Tyson officiating
Pallbearers include Rick McCracken, Todd McCracken, Gary McCracken, Dan Pate, Mike Pate and Jason Lacy.
Interment will follow at Monte Vista Cemetery.
The McCracken family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home to direct the funeral services. 
To sign the online register book, please visit www.alamogordofuneralhome.org.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Jan. 30 to Feb. 16, 2010
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