Tom Manning, Seattle Native and retired Boeing Executive, passed away peacefully on November 27th 2019 at Evergreen Hospice Center in Kirkland WA. He was 94 years old and died from complications after a fall in the home.
Tom was born in Seattle on January 22nd 1925 to Pearl Adelaide and John Joseph Manning. He grew up in the Greenwood area with his three siblings, Lilian, Rita and Jack. He attended Ballard High School, where he played second base on the Varsity baseball team. Upon his graduation in 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army and volunteered for Parachute training school under the strict Captain Sobel of “Band of Brothers” fame. He qualified, got his jump wings and was assigned to Company B of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. He joined the “Screaming Eagles” in the jump into Holland as part of Operation Market Garden, depicted in the book and film “A Bridge too Far”. Tom’s next combat action was in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium as the 101st was trucked into the crossroads city of Bastogne to try and stop the surprise final offensive of the German Army in what became known as “The Battle of the Bulge”. Tom was wounded in this battle on Christmas day 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, and the entire 101st Airborne Division was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for this critical battle. The first and only time in U.S. Army history an entire Division was so honored.
After returning to civilian life, Tom attended the University of Washington and graduated with a degree in business. Shortly thereafter, he was employed by the Boeing Company and at nearly the same time, he met the love of his life. Virginia Catherine Bydal.
Tom and “Ginny” married in 1952 in Virginia’s hometown of East Grand Forks Minnesota. Returning to live in Seattle and later Bellevue, they raised their four children as Tom rose through the ranks at Boeing for the next 43 years. He worked on many programs including the B-52, KC-135, 707, 727, 737, 747, C-5A, SHRAM, AWACS, AMS and for a short time became the “Admiral” of the Boeing Navy as he managed the JETFOIL commercial Hydrofoil project.
Tom ended his career in Europe with “Ginny” at his side, as an International VP for Boeing. He is survived by his Wife of 67 years, Virginia, his children, Steve (Lynn), Barbara (Todd), Colleen, John (Melvina and Grandson Tim), his Grandchildren, Andrea and Lindsey Raymond; Adam, Rachel and Sam Manning and Great Granddaughter Lyla Raymond.
Celebration of Life Service will be held at St. Louise Catholic Church, 141 156th Ave, S.E. Bellevue; on Friday December 20th at 11:00 AM. A brief reception with a light lunch to follow in the Church hall. Internment will take place with Military Honors, at the Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 SE 240th Street, Kent, WA, at 3:00 PM (sharp) the same day.