ASHVILLE, NC — James “Jim” Benjamin Manning, age 76 of Trout Creek, passed away on Wednesday, January 1, 2020 at Mission Hospital in Ashville, North Carolina with his family by his side.
He was born on July 21, 1943 in L’Anse, the son of the late Benny and Violet (Madden) Manning.
Jim grew up in Trout Creek and graduated from Trout Creek High School in 1961. He was an outstanding high school basketball player, winning all state honors in his junior and senior years.
Jim held the UP record of most points scored in his 4 years career with a total of 2,137 points, all without playing with a 3-point line. While in high school he was offered a full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, Madison in basketball but declined because his first love was always baseball.
Jim participated in the Connie Mac Baseball League in Norway, and was scouted by the Boston Red Sox’s and Minnesota Twins along with other major league teams. At 17, he was the youngest drafted and later played with the Minnesota Twins.
Jim came from great athletic genes, his father Benny Manning played in an inter-state baseball league and his cousin Ronnie Manning was signed by the Chicago White Sox’s.
After baseball, he worked in photography in Florida for a few years, worked at Johnson Outboard Marine in Waukegan, Illinois and in 1984 he moved to Weaverville, North Carolina and was self-employed, working in sales of various products until his retirement at the age of 62.
Jim also enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially ruffled grouse hunting and trout fishing.
He is survived by his wife Jean; brother Robert Manning of Norway; sister Sandra (Donnie) Budd of Trout Creek; step-sons Mike (Anastasia) Coleman of Texas, Stephen Coleman of North Carolina and John (Mary Beth) Coleman of Noth Carolina; step-daughter Laura (Rob) Hanson of Illinois; several grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, cousins; and several great nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents Benny and Violet Manning and his sister Karen DeCremer.
A Memorial Service will be held in the spring, at which time notice will be published.