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Sumter, SC

Robert (Bob) Manning Jr., devoted husband, loving Father, career U.S. Army officer, community leader, and youth mentor, age 81, died on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, at National Healthcare in Sumter, S.C.

Born on November 25, 1937, in Alcolu, S.C., he was a son of the late Robert Manning Sr. and Amanda Stukes Manning. He was baptized at Greenhill Baptist Church and educated in the public schools of Clarendon County (Manning Training High School). He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, S.C., attended Law School at South Carolina State College, and received graduate degrees from the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA, and Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI.

He retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army after 22 years of active federal service and was a Veteran of the Vietnam War. Highlights during his distinguished military career include commanding a Special Forces Operational Detachment “A-Team” in Vietnam, executive officer of the 66th Military Intelligence Group in Germany, and command of the 163rd Military Intelligence battalion at Fort Hood, TX.

Bob was a decorated combat Veteran and community leader that lived his life to serve others. He believed the foundation of leadership is unquestionable integrity and trust and would often say, “Being a leader is more than having responsibility and a title. Leaders inspire and believe in their people; it's about investing in the growth of others. Never miss an opportunity to make a difference with people.”

After retiring from the U.S. Army, Bob served as the senior Army instructor for high school Junior ROTC (JROTC) programs in Savannah, GA (A.E. Beach High School) Lancaster, S.C. (Lancaster High School), and Sunrise, FL (Piper High School). He was a devoted mentor to a generation of cadets and took great pride in investing in youth.

Bob was an active member of the Sumter community, competitive racquetball player, integral member of the Saint Anne and Saint Jude Parish, the Knights of Columbus, Omega Psi Phi Inc., and a voracious reader who volunteered countless hours to increasing awareness about the plight of the endangered Manatee.

Survivors include his soulmate of 60 years, and wife of 57 years, Bessie J.; two sons, Allan B. Manning (Cam) and Colonel (Retired) Robert “Trey” Manning III (Deborah); six grandchildren, Allyson C. Manning, Marquis Sullivan Manning, Marquel D. Manning, Ashley P. Manning, Mikayla D. Manning, and Mackenzie J. Manning; two great-grandchildren, Amear Manning and Aniyah Manning; and siblings Minnie L. Brown, Lousanna David, Lee Manning (Francis), Lawrence Manning (Fletcher-deceased), Mozetta Isaac (Jeff), George E. Manning (Diaetta), and a host of beloved nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbors, and friends.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by two brothers and a sister.

The wake is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16, at the Samuels Funeral Home, 114 N. Church Street, Manning, S.C. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday,October 17 at the Saint Anne and Saint Jude Parish, 216 E. Liberty Street, Sumter, S.C. Burial with full military honors will be at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery in Columbia, S.C.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in Robert Manning Jr.’s name to the Save the Manatee Club (https://www.savethemanatee.org/), 500 N. Maitland Ave., Suite 210, Maitland, FL 32751, and/or the Saint Anne and Saint Jude Parish Building Fund, 216 E. Liberty Street, Sumter, S.C. 29150.

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  • Friday, October 11, 2019
    Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
    ~ Samuels Funeral Home, LLC.
  • Saturday, October 12, 2019
    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Manning family during this difficult time. We remember Bob as a caring husband, father and friend.
    ~ joseph and Shirley Watson   Columbia, SC
  • Sunday, October 13, 2019
    Dear Bessie, I'm so sorry for your loss. We used to chat in NHC. Bob would give me a smile and salute. God bless you. Praying for you. Anita Ard
    ~ Anita Ard   Manning, SC
  • Sunday, October 13, 2019
    Sorry for the loss of your love one. Please accept our sincere sympathy and prayers.
    ~ Huline & Lee Goodman   Manning, SC
  • Monday, October 14, 2019
    With Bob's passing, our Country has lost a loyal and dedicated warrior. RIP and God Speed dear friend. Condolences to Bessie and all the family. VR, Dud and Ann
    ~ Brigadier General, USA (R) and Mrs, Dudley J Gordon ley J. Gordon   Melbourne, FL
  • Monday, October 14, 2019
    Dear Bessie, Adam, Trey and family, With our heartfelt love and sympathy. We will truly miss Zeus's contagious laugh, jokes, stories from back in the day and longtime friendship.
    ~ Milton and Peggie Troy   Mullins, SC
  • Monday, October 14, 2019
    We are saddened by the loss of Colonel Manning. He was a true patriot as well as a wonderful husband and father, and a friend to many. May he rest in peace. We send our condolences to Mrs. Manning, Allan and Trey.
    ~ Michael & Melissa Gordon   Melbourne, FL
  • Monday, October 14, 2019
    So sorry for your loss. Col Manning was a true officer and a gentleman. You will never know how much his leadership and compassion ment to the young men and women under his leadership. God bless your families
    ~ Lucinda Broughton   Lancaster, SC
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    To Mrs. Bessie and family, our prayers and sympathy goes out to you and your family. Continue prayers will be for you all, hold on to God and He will give you the strenth to endure this
    ~ Harold & Linda Singleton   Sumter, SC
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    Dear Father you are truly gonna be missed. You were a excellent father and better friend. I love you so much. Thank You for ALL you did and shared, You will and shall live on in us Forever. You will Never be Forgotten
    ~ Allan Manning   Columbia, SC
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    The Wilbur Gibert Family sends love and prayers to Cousin Bessie & Family! We were so blessed by Cousin Bob’s life (or as dad would call him Uncle Bob)! Continued love & prayers❤️🙏🏾
    ~ Michelle Gibert   Amherst, NY
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    My Dear cousin Bessie, David and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our sincere condolences to you and the family. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
    ~ David & Janie Brownlee   Abbeville, SC
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    Dear Bessie and family, so very sorry for your loss. We have fond memories of being your neighbors in Sumter on Gordonia Drive. Bob will be greatly missed as he was greatly loved! Bob’s mother was dear to our family and many in Alcolu. She raised a special man in Bob! Bessie, may God comfort you as only he can. Find peace in knowing that you took great care of Bob. Sending you a big hug. Our deepest condolences to your family, Jack and Carole ( Ard) Boyd
    ~ Jack and Carole Boyd   Collierville, TN
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    The deep and enduring family friendship we shared throughout our Military service and beyond is treasured and priceless. Sending you sympathy, prayers, and love.
    ~ Colonel, USA (R) and Mrs. Matthew (Juanita†) DeVore   Fairfax Station, VA
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Manning, Allan, Trey and the entire family. Truly a great man with a wonderful laugh. I will cherish the memories I have from our time in Munich together.
    ~ Jack and Jane Gordon   Grant-Valkaria, FL
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    Minnie: Just found out our first cousins were your neughbors in Sumter. Carole & Jack Boyd. It's a small world. Carole said your mama was special to her family as well. God Bless You. I miss you folks...
    ~ Anita Ard   Manning, SC
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    Minnie: Just found out our first cousins were your neughbors in Sumter. Carole & Jack Boyd. It's a small world. Carole said your mama was special to her family as well. God Bless You. I miss you folks...
    ~ Anita Ard   Manning, SC
  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    I am so sorry for ypur loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    ~ Robin J Coleman   Sumter, SC
  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    I am so sorry for ypur loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    ~ Robin J Coleman   Sumter, SC
  • Thursday, October 17, 2019
    To the Family Cornell Manning will always be in my heart. What you instilled in me as a student in ROTC will live with me forever. You were a honorable and genuine humble spirited man.. Your legacy will live in a lot of people forever. I salute you for helping me become the woman I am today. Until we meet again.
    ~ Shalana Cureton-Mayfield
  • Thursday, October 17, 2019
    I was the Cadet Commander of the JROTC unit at Lancaster High School in 1994-95. Throughout my years in the program, I planned to attend West Point and spend my career in the Army. However, at the end of my junior year of High School, I sensed a call from God to ministry. As I told my teachers of my change in plans, it was Colonel Manning who was most supportive. He said, "I cannot argue with the call of the Almighty. You have my full support." He was a towering figure in my youth and his example is a towering image in my ministry. May the Lord grant him eternal rest and consolation to his family.
    ~ Fr. Benjamin Roberts   Monroe, NC
  • Thursday, October 17, 2019
    May pleasant memories of your love one comfort you at this time. May God continue to Bless you all.
    ~ Andrew and Celissi Klugh   Silver Spring, MD
  • Monday, October 21, 2019
    I didn’t have the honor of knowing Lt. Colonel Manning, but clearly he was an honorable man , his accomplishments are very impressive. Life well lived. Thank you for your service (I hope I’m not intruding on your grief , I just felt compelled to comment)
    ~ Rob Smith   Manning, SC
  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019
    Bessie, my family and I hereby extend our profound sympathy to you and your family regarding Bob's Homegoing. Bob was a true gentleman, outstanding soldier and dear friend. I pray that The Lord will continue to shower each of you with his richest blessings. Warm regards. Bob Mills (& family)
    ~ Robert Mills   Fort Washington, MD
  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019
    Bessie, my family and I hereby extend our profound sympathy to you and your family regarding Bob's Homegoing. Bob was a true gentleman, outstanding soldier and dear friend. We shall miss him and treasure his memory. May God continue to shower each of you with his richest blessings. Warmest regards. Bob Mills
    ~ Robert Mills   Fort Washington, MD