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OBIT: Allen “Al” Manning

Allen “Al” Manning, 79, of Charles City, passed away Saturday, December 18, 2021 at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center in Des Moines.

A memorial service for Al Manning will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 23, 2021 at Saint John Evangelical Lutheran Church with Pastor Russ Leeper officiating. Burial will be at 1:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon at Greenwood Cemetery in Nashua.

A gathering of family and friends will be from 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. at Saint John Evangelical Lutheran Church on Thursday before the memorial service.

Allen “Al” Donald Manning was born July 26, 1942, to Donald and Mary (Cummings) Manning. He attended Deerfield Township Elementary School, a one room schoolhouse, and graduated from Colwell High School in 1960. He married Betty Johnson on August 11, 1962. Together they built a loving family with two children, seven grandchildren, and one great granddaughter. Al loved his children and grandchildren and was very proud of each of them. He enjoyed family gatherings where he and Betty would cook lots of delicious food for the family. He also liked visiting with his friends, talking and telling stories.

Al owned a construction company and worked in agribusiness. He built grain bins and large grain handling systems for farmers and elevators throughout northeastern Iowa. As a second career, Al became a tree farmer. He was a member of the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association. He raised and sold Christmas trees and made an endless number of Christmas wreaths. He was a charter member of the Iowa Woodland Owners Association and received the Iowa Woodland Owner of the Year award. He was also recognized with an award from the state forester for working above and beyond to promote forestry in the state of Iowa. He planted thousands of seedlings, native prairie grasses, and shrubbery to help protect the ecosystem, provide habitat for animals, and remove environmentally sensitive farmland from agricultural production. In his lifetime, Al planted over a million trees.

Al was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and being in the woods. He was a charter member of the Floyd County Izaak Walton League, a member of the Floyd County Conservation Board, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, and a lifetime member of the NRA. He also sold guns as a federal firearms dealer. He taught hunter safety education for 27 years and mentored students in the Charles City and Nashua Trap Shooters.

Al and Betty lived in Colwell for many years. It was their community. When there was a need, Al was there to organize people and make things happen. He served as the mayor of Colwell and chief for the Colwell Volunteer Fire Department. He raised money for new fire trucks and state of the art firefighting equipment. He helped plan and raise funds for a new fire station and the Colwell Community Center.

Al is survived by his wife of 59 years, Betty; his daughter Carmen and her husband Mark Mathias; seven grandchildren whom he loved with all his heart: Matthew Manning & his wife Amy; Taylor Manning; Nate Manning and fiancé Alexis Clough; Cassidy Beatty; Madeleine Mathias; Kate Mathias; and Jack Mathias; one very special great-granddaughter Kaylee Jo Manning who loves her papa very much; his sister Lois Manning; and many special cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his son, Mark and daughter-in-law, Lainie, and his parents.

Memorials will support conservation efforts including a scholarship for students pursing higher education in conservation and ecology.

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