JOHN E. ("Jack") MANNING M.D., husband of the late Lily Fields Manning, passed away peacefully Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at home in Falmouth at age 96. Jack was born into an Irish Immigrant family that settled initially in New Bedford but then moved to Taunton, Massachusetts.
After graduating from Coyle High School in Taunton, Jack enrolled at Boston College and graduated in 1943 with a pre-med degree. He then was accepted at Tufts Medical School where he graduated with his Medical Degree in 1946. In order to help pay for his medical school education, Jack enlisted in the US NAVY where he served his country for four years by being the only doctor who was responsible for taking care of all of the sailors on six Navy war ships from 1946 until 1950.
Upon leaving the Navy, he went into special training in pediatrics. In 1952, he and Lily and their two sons, John P. ("Jack") and Michael B. (“Mike") settled in Fall River where Jack opened his medical practice specializing in pediatrics.
He was immeasurably passionate about taking care of children with diseases or the ordinary cold but most especially those young people who had special needs. He was always available day or night to any parent who might call him because their child was sick.
In 1955, Lily contracted the worst level of polio. Jack brought her to St. Anne's Hospital in Fall River but as the deadly disease multiplied swiftly to near death for Lily, he rushed her to Haynes Memorial Hospital in Boston which was the only hospital specializing in severe cases of polio. During the next two years, Jack divided his time between taking care his patients in Fall River and spending free moments with Lily in Boston. In 1957, Jack moved Lily who was in an iron lung to the family home in Fall River where he took care of her. Thanks to Jack's loving care, Lily achieved the impossible by living another 51 years albeit totally paralyzed and unable to breathe on her own.
In 1959, Jack became very committed to help special needs children who attended a residential school located in Assonet, Massachusetts called CRYSTAL SPRINGS SCHOOL. Jack became these young people's pediatrician. All of these children were physically handicapped and mentally challenged and resided at the school. Although Jack simultaneously retained his pediatric practice in Fall River, he was frequently treating the children at Crystal Springs as the institution's Medical Director. Jack never wanted nor did he ever accept any compensation for his services to this wonderful institution. Indeed, he typically contributed any of the medications that were needed. 21 years ago he started the Dr. John E. Manning Golf Tournament as a way to raise money to support Crystal Springs. Jack not only continued to be Crystal Spring's doctor but every September , including 2016,he would make the calls soliciting friends and others who enjoy golf to come and play at his tournament and to make a contribution to this wonderful institution that takes care of special needs individuals.
In 2015, a Citation from the Massachusetts State Senate was given to Dr. John E. Manning for “his dedication to the field of Pediatrics and for his commitment for helping children with special needs”. Similarly in the same year, the Massachusetts House of Representatives issued a Citation expressing gratitude to Jack for his “many years of dedicated service in the field of pediatrics and your passion for helping children with special needs”.
In addition to his sons, Jack and Mike, he leaves behind eight grandchildren, two great grandchildren, nine nieces and nephews and many grand nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be held from 2–5 PM on Sunday Feb. 12, and 9-9:30 AM on Monday Feb. 13, at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 584 West Falmouth Hwy (Route 28A), West Falmouth. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 AM on Monday, Feb. 13 at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 481 Quaker Rd, North Falmouth, with interment at 1 PM at the Notre Dame Cemetery in Fall River, Mass.
In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a contribution to the Crystal Springs School, PO Box 372, Assonet, Massachusetts 02702.