James P. "Jim" Manning Sr.

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James P. "Jim" Manning Sr., 99, of Midland, died Tuesday morning, Aug. 28, 2018 at the Toni and Trish House in Auburn. He was born June 22, 1919 in Norwich, Conn., son of the late James P. and Nora (Barry) Manning. Jim was a loving husband, father and family man. He started his career at the age of 16 working for American Thermos Company of Norwich and retired as vice president and general manager of several manufacturing sites. Considered a turn-around specialist, he turned failing companies into profitable entities. Jim had a very innovative mind and some of his inventions included adding a handle on Thermos cups, a design improvement that kept the Thermos bottle 20 percent colder, and he held a patent on the container that brought the famous moon rocks back from the first lunar landing. In his 60s, he held other manufacturing positions including a sales engineer doing business with Fortune 500 companies such as Maytag, Caterpillar and American Motors. Jim liked to hunt and fish and spent time fly fishing in the brooks of Connecticut with his son, Jim Jr. He enjoyed woodworking and as a teenager, made a 22-foot sail boat in his backyard using only hand tools. Jim also built cottages and raised AKC Field Trial Champion coonhounds. He was a competitive skeet shooter in his teens and finished second to actor Robert Stack in the New England Junior Skeet Championship Shoot-Off. During his later years, he got much joy from being a part of family activities and enjoyed watching his great grandchildren grow. Jim was a life-long sailing yachtsman having sailed in 11 Chicago Yacht Club races to Mackinac. Despite all of his other accomplishments, winning the Chicago to Mackinac race in 1982 was his crowning achievement.

He is survived by his son, Jim (Becky) Manning of Sanford; his daughter, Ellen Manning of Richmond, Va; granddaughters, Shannon (Rick) D'Amico and Alana (Kevin Cunningham) Stamas; great-grandchildren, Jake D'Amico and Edie Cunningham. In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his first wife, Nancy (Jordan) Manning; his second wife, Eileen (Sullivan) Manning; and his three siblings Loretta, Rita and Donald.

Memorial services for Jim will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Chapel, 1200 W. Wheeler Street with the Rev. Dr. Wallace H. Mayton III officiating. His family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday from 1:30 p.m. until the time of service. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Toni and Trish House in Auburn.

Funeral Home
Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home - Midland
1200 W. Wheeler St
Midland, MI 48640
(989) 631-2292
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Published in Midland Daily News on Sept. 1, 2018
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