John A. “Jack” Manning, 93, of Escanaba, MI, passed away Friday evening, October 30, 2020 after a short stay at OSF St. Francis Hospital, Escanaba, from complications of the COVID-19 disease. Jack was born on March 19, 1927 in Escanaba, the son of John J. Manning and Mary Adalene (Thust) Manning. He is survived by his wife, Jeanette M. (LeRoux) Manning. Jack graduated from Escanaba High School in 1945 near the top of his class. He enlisted in the United States Navy and spent a year training as a radar technician at the Naval Center Great Lakes, Illinois.
Jack was united in marriage to Jeanette LeRoux on January 13, 1951. During their nearly 70 years together, they raised a family, forged great friendships, and explored the world as best friends and partners for life.
Jack owned and operated the family business, Manning Shoes, for 51 years in downtown Escanaba, continuing the business to and beyond its 100th anniversary. In 1968, because of his love for skiing, he started Manning Ski Shop. The businesses were operated as the Manning Corporation for many years. A well-known businessman, innovator, and visionary, he traveled seasonally to trade shows to view the newest products and styles from around the world. His businesses featured quality family footwear, alpine and Nordic equipment, and the latest in accessories. He was most proud of the fact that personal service, product education, customized fit, and special ordering were an integral part of his business philosophy and came at no extra cost to the customer.
Jack was an outdoor enthusiast who liked to get exercise while having fun. He lived by a personal motto, “Never Skip a Season” and it allowed him to enjoy many activities year after year, most notably alpine and Nordic skiing, biking, golfing, bowling, hunting, and sailing.
Jack loved his hometown of Escanaba and was very civic-minded and involved in many clubs and organizations including; past president of Escanaba Jaycees, Lake Bluff Country Club, and Escanaba Lions Club; served on the Escanaba School Board, St. Patrick Church Council, Delta County Economic Development Panel, and was an active volunteer of the Delta County Historical Society.
Jack truly enjoyed being a member of the Escanaba Yacht Club, Escanaba Bowling Association, Marquette Mountain Race League, and the Escanaba Country Club. He was competitive at any age, winning two NASTAR Alpine Ski National Championships and seven Noquemanon half marathon Nordic ski races. He competed on the national level well into his 80’s, and often mentioned that he didn’t stop because of his age but rather that he simply ran out of competition. His unrelenting spirit and boyish enthusiasm were qualities that brought people of all ages and generations to gravitate naturally toward him and absorb his philosophies and zest for life. Jack, however, mostly appreciated the camaraderie and friendships that recreational activities and competitive challenges presented him.
Jack is survived by his wife, Jeanette of Escanaba; his children, Patrick (Sally) Manning, and Michael (Mara) Manning, both of Escanaba; grandchildren, Daniel (Amanda) Manning of Eugene, OR, Kevin Manning (Erika Vossbeck) of Seattle, WA, and Katherine Manning (Tim Niepokny) of Kent, OH; sisters, Regina Bursetta of Boise, ID, and Mary Moran of DePere, WI; sister-in-law, Joyce Beaudoin of Escanaba; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jack’s body will lie in state from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday, November 6, 2020 at St. Joseph & St. Patrick Catholic Church in Escanaba. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m., Friday, with Father Timothy Ferguson officiating. A live broadcast can be viewed publicly at 4:00 p.m., Friday, on St. Joseph & St. Patrick Catholic Church's Facebook Page. Burial will follow the services in Holy Cross Cemetery in Escanaba. The family understands your need to make appropriate choices on how to honor Jack’s passing at this time. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Joseph & St Patrick Parish or the Delta County Historical Society.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John A. Manning, please visit our floral store.