Jacquelyne Manning, Who Demonstrated Value of Leadership for Four Generations

Mrs. Jacquelyne D. Manning died Sunday, Oct. 5 at Windemere, surrounded by the presence and love of four generations.

She was born March 9, 1923 in Salisbury, N.C., daughter of Cecil B. Noble and Lena J. (Spratt), a descendant of the Cherokee Tribe. Her family moved to White Plains, N.Y. in 1935, where her father was a jeweler and her mother a private duty nurse.

Jackie, as she was known by all, graduated from White Plains High School in 1941 and Renouard School of Embalming School in Manhattan in 1943. In 1974 she returned to college at Pace University to study business and community development.

She had studied classical piano from age five. Having majored in music, she was offered a full scholarship to Boston Conservatory of Music. And she had spent the past three years once again studying piano under the tutelage of Charles Blank, not only at the Up-Island Council on Aging but also at Windemere; this brought great joy to her in recent years. She had studied French for four years and Spanish for two, and her appreciation of languages and music remained with her always.

During World War II, she worked at Sonotone in White Plains, making ear device components for the Air Force pilots.

During the summers of 1942 through 1945 she vacationed on the Vineyard with friends, and thus began her affiliation with members of the Wampanoag Tribe and with the Island, a devotion that spanned six decades. In June 1946 she married James W. Manning, son of Capt. Walter W. Manning and his wife Ada, moving to the Vineyard year-round.

Jackie invested her time well while residing for a decade at what was then Gay Head. She was tax collector for the town from 1951 to 1956, president of the Aquinnah Club, and co-leader of her daughters' Brownie Troop. She taught Sunday School and was a member of the choir at Community Baptist Church of Gay Head, where she was baptized in 1951. She also participated in, made regalia for, and narrated the pageant The Legend of Moshup, performed on the Cliffs. She received a commendation for her volunteer work for the Heart Fund.

It was through her efforts, after she had convinced Gay Head selectmen, that women were allowed to go scalloping with the men, and they were issued permits from then on. She learned to mend fishing nets, open scallops, filet fish, and steer a boat by compass. She spent her summers at the Gay Head Diner with the Grieder family and with the Hornblower family at Squibnocket. She was responsible for organizing Cranberry Day activities and the picnic lunch that followed.

Through her efforts and those of her fellow members of the Aquinnah Club, electricity was brought to Gay Head in February, 1951; it was the last town in the commonwealth to be electrified.

Jackie was strong and determined, a trait she instilled in her children, along with the values of serving church, Tribe and community.

In 1956, Jackie and her Vineyard-born daughters - June, Judith and Jyl - drove across country on the old Route 66 and settled in Hollywood, Calif. There they resided for more than a year before returning to the family home in Pleasantville, N.Y.

In Hollywood, Jackie worked as a photographer and at Package Wrapping Unlimited, where she wrapped unusual gifts in the most beautiful manner; at Christmastime for the next four years she was flown back to Hollywood to prepare packages.

Back in Pleasantville, she worked as a supervisor at Reader's Digest, a school crossing guard, a private duty nurse, and at several children's homes. She worked weekends and vacations at the Manning family restaurant in Gay Head from 1962 through 1974.

In May 1997 she retired as a senior milieu counselor from Pleasantville Cottage School, a residential treatment center, where she had worked for the Jewish Child Care Association of New York for nearly 30 years in child care, as well as an assistant and substitute teacher in the Mount Pleasant School. She was loved and well-respected in her field, admired by not only hundreds of students whose lives she touched and counseled over years, but by the staff at the Cottage School as well.

Upon retirement, she moved to the Poconos, spending her winters in Aquinnah. In winter 1999, too ill to live alone, she remained on the Vineyard, and willingly tagged along with daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to family, Tribal and church gatherings; to meet President Clinton in August 2000; to dinner parties on Chappy with Marion Harding; shopping trips; pow wows; the fair; the weekly Aquinnah flea market, and many other celebrations. She enjoyed the Up-Island Council on Aging for her writing group and for her piano lessons, luncheon and Scrabble.

Jackie enjoyed traveling, whether cruising the St. Lawrence or on family cruises to the Caribbean. She often visited with her daughter Judith and husband Barry during their three-year stay in Caracas, and at their home in Toronto over the past 20 years. She traveled to the Milavsky family home in Vancouver often, as well as winter trips to West Palm Beach with the Rose family.

Besides travels and music, her pastimes included needlepoint, knitting, reading, oil painting and shopping.

She had spent the past year as a resident of Windemere Nursing in Oak Bluffs, where she was cared for lovingly by staff and enjoyed the friendship of residents and their families, and remarked on the community spirit she felt while a patient there. Her kitten Kate would often visit her at Windemere.

Jacquelyne is survived and eternally loved by her daughters June D. Manning of Aquinnah, Judith C. (Manning) Milavsky and her husband Barry of Toronto, and Jyl D. Manning of Tisbury; her brother, Conrad Noble, and his wife Dolores of Pleasantville; and sister June C. D. Noble of North Hollywood. Her grandchildren are Paul G. Manning of Aquinnah; Sharon A. Spiller of Mesa, Ariz.; Robert W. C. Manning of Tisbury, and Alexander J. Milavsky of Toronto. Her great-grandchildren include Christina M. Millman of Las Vegas, Christopher P. Roper and Kayla V. Roper of Aquinnah and Marianne L. Spiller of Mesa. And she was delighted to have met her seven-month old great-great-grandson, James I. Millman.

Her beloved extended family includes niece Linda (Toland) Hobbs, husband Joseph and their children Jason, Lauren, and Chelsea of Buchanan, N.Y.; niece Elena (Noble) Scarfone and husband Sal of Raleigh, N.C.; nephew Oliver Noble of Brooklyn, N.Y.; brother in law Ivan Toland of San Diego and sister in law Elfreida Noble of Mount Kisco. Also, her dear friend and confidante Helen (Vanderhoop) Manning-Murray, stepmother to her daughters, and her former son in law Albert Rose of Oak Bluffs, as well as her friends and associates at Pleasantville Cottage School, who kept in touch.

She was predeceased by her former husband, James W. Manning; by her father Cecil and her mother Lena; her brothers Cecil Jr. and Gregory; her sister Joyce (Noble) Toland, and her nephew, Thomas Toland.

Jackie lived a long, full, enriched, illustrious life, filled with joy and love of family; and she has left them with a wonderful legacy. She was a special lady to all.

Donations in her memory may be sent to the following entities who nurtured her in recent years:  Community Baptist Church of Gay Head, Box 151, Aquinnah, MA 02535; the Up-Island Council on Aging, State Road, West Tisbury, MA 02575; Windemere Residents Council, Hospital Road, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557; the Visiting Nurse Service, 111 Edgartown Road, Tisbury MA, 02568. Jackie received her strength, encouragement and will to live in the face of chronic illness through the efforts of these services.

A visitation will held on Monday, Oct. 13, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Chapman Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, 56 Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. A service will immediately follow at 3:30 p.m. with Rev. Roger H. Spinney officiating. A memorial service will be planned at Community Baptist Church at a later date.