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U.S. Steel engineer helped found Forbes Regional

Matthew Santoni
| Wednesday, March 18, 2015 12:01 a.m
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OBIT, obits, Obituary: Richard D. Manning of Monroeville died Thursday, March 13. He was 96.

Richard Manning’s work at U.S. Steel was deemed so critical to the nation’s effort at the start of World War II that when he was caught trying to enlist in the U.S. Navy in Baltimore, authorities sent him back to Pittsburgh.

It was January 1942, and Manning, then 24, already had instilled in him the sense of civic duty that he would carry through the rest of his life.

“Always the consummate gentleman, he was gracious, kind and caring,” said his son, Common Pleas President Judge Jeffrey A. Manning. “He lived the Rotary motto: ‘Service above self.’ ”

Richard “Dick” D. Manning, a longtime Monroeville resident who worked at U.S. Steel for more than 30 years, died Friday, March 13, 2015, of respiratory failure at Masonic Village at Sewickley. He was 96.

Born on Nov. 26, 1918, to Roy “Colonel” E. and Suzanne Hicks Manning, Mr. Manning grew up in Dormont and graduated from Dormont High School in 1936.

After graduation from Carnegie Institute of Technology with a degree in metallurgical engineering in 1940, Mr. Manning went to work as a metallurgist at U.S. Steel’s Homestead Works plant. He earned a master’s degree in engineering from Carnegie Institute in 1950.

When U.S. Steel opened a research facility in Monroeville, Mr. Manning moved his wife, Ruth, and his two children to the suburb.

Mr. Manning supported the establishment of both the Monroeville Public Library in the 1960s and, with his wife, helped to establish Forbes Regional Hospital a decade later.

“He was the life of the party. He could sing, he could dance. He was a faithful community person,” said Brenda McCrady, 75, of Penn Hills who was friends with Mr. Manning and his wife for more than five decades.

Mr. Manning was one of eight founders of the Monroeville Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, serving as Masonic Master in 1963.

In 1967, after four years as judge of elections, Mr. Manning won a seat on the Gateway School District Board and served for six years.

Mr. Manning was a member of the Monroeville Rotary Club, serving as president and treasurer. In 1977, he was unanimously elected district governor of what was then Rotary District 730, which included more than 50 clubs throughout the region.

“He was certainly one of the unsung heroes,” said friend, Monroeville lawyer Jack Finnegan, who served with Mr. Manning in the Rotary. A committee that nominated Manning for the 1973 Junior Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year wrote: “The theme that seems to run through Mr. Manning’s long impressive list is not being satisfied with just being a member, but to be a concerned, actively involved member willing to carry more than his share of responsibility to move his community forward.”

At the U.S. Steel research lab, Mr. Manning and his team were responsible for dozens of patents, including T-1 steel, the type used to construct the U.S. Steel Tower, Downtown.

Mr. Manning was preceded in death by his first wife, Ruth, and his second wife, Florence Hayes. In addition to his son, Judge Jeffrey A. Manning, Mr. Manning is survived by a daughter, Susan Biehl of Whippany, N.J.; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Slater Funeral Service in Green Tree. A funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, also at Slater, with interment to follow at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery in Pleasant Hills.

Categories: Obituaries
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