James Ernest Manuel, known to most as “Jack”, of Stafford Hall, Clear Spring, MD, died on January 8, 2019 after a brief illness under the care of Hospice at Doey’s House.
Born on March 24, 1924 in Harper’s Ferry, WV, he was the only child of the late James Taylor and Mary Ruth Stolle Manuel.
Mr. Manuel grew up in Charles Town, WV, graduated from Charles Town High School in 1942, and attended West Virginia University before being drafted into the United States Army Air Corps (now the Air Force) in World War II. He served as a crew member on a B24 in the 15th Airforce, 455 Bomb Group, 743 Squadron and flew over 50 bombing missions over Central and Southern Europe and the Balkans. He received many citations including four Air Medals, the Presidential Unit Citation, the European Theater Ribbon with six Campaign Battel Stars and the Victory Medal. Mr. Manuel was proud of his military service and was grateful to the Tuskegee Airmen for flying cover on many missions.
After being honorably discharged from the military, Mr. Manuel enrolled in Shepherd College (now Shepherd University) where he majored in physical education and minored in mathematics, graduating in 1948. It was at Shepherd that he met his wife of 72 years, the former Nancy Bevans Cohill, who despite being an educator as well, often said that she “majored in Jack Manuel.” They were married on December 28, 1946 at her parent’s home, Stafford Hall. Mr. Manuel later earned a Master of Arts Degree from George Washington University in 1953.
Following graduation from Shepherd, Mr. Manuel taught in West Virginia and Virginia before coming to Washington County in 1952 and teaching physical education at Clear Spring High School. In addition to teaching, he coached soccer, basketball and baseball. Although he had never played, or had even seen a soccer game before traveling to Washington D.C. to observe one prior to the beginning of the season, he lead the Clear Spring “Blazers” to 50 straight victories between 1952 and 1957. For his coaching accomplishments in soccer, Mr. Manuel was inducted in 2000 into the Washington County Sports Hall of Fame of which he was a founder and charter member. In 1965 he became a guidance counselor at Clear Spring and later at North Hagerstown High School. He then served as a pupil personnel worker and as a liaison to the Washington County Juvenile Court and finally as a principal at Hancock Middle Senior High before retiring in 1980.
Mr. Manuel was a member of the Washington County Retired Teacher’s Association and the Joseph P. Herbert Post 222 of the American Legion. He was a former member of the Assembly Club and Fountain Head Country Club, where he was an avid golfer, especially with the “Senior Group” during his retirement.
He was a member of Saint Michael’s Roman Catholic Church.
He was proceeded in death by three maternal aunts and their husbands, a sister-in-law, and three brothers-in-law.
Mr. Manuel is survived by his loving wife, Nancy Cohill Manuel of Stafford Hall, two sons, James Cohill Manuel and Thomas Cohill Manuel and is wife Cherie; two grandchildren, Andrew James Manuel and his wife, Hayley and Jennifer Manuel Routzahn and her husband Joshua; two great grandchildren, Krystina and Paige Manuel; and a special niece and nephew Mary Catherine Cohill Gargano and her husband Thomas.
A Mass of Christian Burial with the Reverend Ernest Cibelli as Celebrant will be held at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, 224 West Washington Street, Hagerstown, MD 21740 on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 10:00AM with burial immediately following at Rose Hill Cemetery, Hagerstown, MD. The Donald Edwin Thompson Funeral Home, Inc, 13607 National Pike, Clear Spring, MD 21722 has been entrusted with the arrangements. For the convenience of friends, the funeral home will be open from noon until 5:00 PM on Monday, January 14, 2019.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Clear Spring Ambulance Club, P.O. Box 61, Clear Spring, MD 21722; or to the Clear Spring Volunteer Fire Co., P.O. Box 400, Clear Spring, MD 21722; or to Doey’s House, 11370 Caring Pathway Lane, Hagerstown, MD 21742.