Howard K. “Sarge” Manning, 90, of Crab Orchard, passed away, Saturday, October 1, 2011 in the Beckley Veterans Area Medical Center. Born September 11, 1921 in Matoka, WV, he was the son of the late Howard and Nancy Marshall Manning. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Hazel Fink Manning; sister, Willie Cox, brother, Edward Manning, sister, Virginia Carman and brother, Okey Manning.
Sarge spent 30 years in active duty in the U.S. Army. He was an ordained minister, a 32nd Degree Mason, charter member of the Crab Orchard – MacArthur Lions Club, lifetime member of the VFW and American Legion, a former county commissioner, and Raleigh County’s best known Santa Claus.
For over 40 winters one of his greatest joys was building a tubing slope behind his home providing hot chocolate, a warm fire and a clean family atmosphere for thousands of youngsters and their families.
He served with the Army’s Chaplain Corps and with the 82nd, 11th and 101st airborne divisions. He was in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater – the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan during World War II. After the war, he was in the standby Reserves for 14 months, then he re-enlisted and went into the airborne division at Fort Bragg, N.C. In 1956, after Korea, he became an Army recruiter in West Virginia. He spear-headed efforts to move the old Methodist church at Pemberton to the coal camp community at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.
Howard was licensed as a minister in 1952, and in 1967 he was ordained as a minister of the gospel in the West View Missionary Baptist Church. He pastored churches and led evangelistic outreach work, and was a lifelong member of the Crab Orchard Baptist Church.
Survivors include sons, Kenneth Lee Manning of Sophia, Billy Joe Manning and wife Debby of Fairfield, Maine, Dan Manning and wife Janet Lynn of Ellicott City, MD; daughters, Sherry Smith and husband Bruce of Mabscott, Susie Fritz and husband Bill, of Crab Orchard, with whom he made his home, 9 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren; brothers, Robert Manning and wife Geneva of Beckley, Melvin Manning and wife Marcella of Dothan, WV, Donald Manning of Mufreesboro, TN, Virgil Manning of MacArthur, WV, Ross Manning of Elyria, OH; sister, Helen Preast and husband Robert of Athens, OH, Jean Blevins of Harrisburg, WV; special caregivers, Ann Honaker and Janet McNeel.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October5, 2011 at the Crab Orchard Baptist Church with Pastor Mike Sisson and Jerry Manning officiating. Burial will follow in Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends at the church from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday and one hour prior to service on Wednesday.
Pallbearers will be Berman Cornett, Dean Beckett, Tim Rector, and grandsons.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Crab Orchard Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 466, Crab Orchard, WV 25827
On line condolences may be left at www.calfeefh.com
Arrangements by Calfee Funeral Home, Beckley.