He was raised in Cedar City and Toquerville, Utah. Following high school graduation, he attended the Branch Agricultural College in Cedar City, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Public Health from Utah State University, and a Masters of a Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945 on the U.S. Bataan as World War II aviation mechanic.
William and Marilyn made their first home in North Carolina, returning to Salt Lake City in 1950, where he was employed by the Utah State Department of Public Health. The family relocated to Northern California in 1965 when he accepted a position with the American Public Health Association. He and his wife retired to St George in 2000.
William was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in various capacities including Bishop, Stake Patriarch for over 40 years, ordained temple worker in both the Oakland, California and St George, Utah Temples, and faithful Home Teacher. He served two missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from 1939 to 1941 commencing in Germany and concluding in the North Central States and a second mission with his wife to the Philippines from 1989 to 1990.
He cultivated a beautiful garden, loved classical music, had a natural ability for foreign languages, and delighted in serving others. His greatest joy was his angel wife, Marilyn. He was devoted to her and his family throughout his life.
William is preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn Thurston Manning, three brothers and three sisters. He is survived by his children: Barbara Manning (Ronald) Moon of Port Jefferson, New York; Marian Manning (Dana) Nielson of Blanding, Utah; Jane Manning (Mark) Allen of Grants Pass, Oregon; and William Carl (Julie) Manning of El Segundo, California; 17 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren; a sister, Mary Manning Mortensen; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Monday, March 17, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., with a visitation at 10:00 a.m., at the Metcalf Mortuary Chapel, 288 West St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah. Interment will be in the Hurricane City Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221.