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Brandenburg 300 Project


Joe Manning


Joe Manning taught me what friendship is. Until he did my friendships had a kind of transience – an uncertainty that came from my own insecurities and confusions from my upbringing. His friendship had a price – the right price. Joe Manning’s handshake was the best contract ever written, just like Sam Perricone or Woody Woodland. If your handshake was as good as his, if you worked hard and lived life with honor and integrity, than Joe was the most loyal and loving and wise friend anyone could hope for.


Joe Manning, Sam Perricone and Woody Woodland’s support meant everything to me in business – and life. Their friendship after the business was over was a miracle I never expected and treasure to this day. 

Joe Manning and his son Joe Jr. fishing in Panama

MANNING, JR., JOE WILEY, born on the 7th of April 1919, in Greenville, Texas, passed away on the 20th of April 2010, in Houston, Texas at the age of 91.The son of Joe Wiley Manning and Faye Carsey, he graduated from Greenville High School, where he was the manager of the Flaming Flashes. In junior high school, he was the recipient of the American Legion Award, based on honor, courage, leadership, service and scholarship.

As a young man, he learned the importance of salesmanship and good customer service while working at his family's service station. He briefly attended East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce (now Texas A&M) before leaving to take a job in Houston as a diesel engine salesman for C. Jim Stewart & Stevenson in 1938. He was fortunate to have as mentors his grandfather, John Milton Carsey, his father, Joe Manning, Sr. and Mr. Ross Stewart.

By 1940 he was the General Manager of the Diesel Engine Division, which later became Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc. Under his leadership, the company became known as the world's largest distributor of diesel engines. During World War II, he directed the company's operations building equipment utilized in the war effort and retired in 1985 as President and CEO.

In early 1940, he met Norma Jean Brecheen of Commerce at a DeMolay dance. They were married on the 7th of June 1942 in Commerce, and settled in the Houston area, residing in Bellaire from 1946 to 1973 at the Windy Acres. There they had the good fortune to employ a wonderful and dear couple, Verna and Sam Johnson, who became part of the family and helped to raise their children.

Joe enjoyed hunting, fishing and his family. Above all, he loved his family and his country; he was a true patriot. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother J. Carsey Manning, his brothers-in-law Emil D. Joost and John Cameron Brecheen; sisters-in-law Barbara Tengg Manning and Nancy Brecheen Grant, and many special cousins. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Norma, and his four children and their families: Nancy Cameron Reese and husband, H. Douglas III; Joe Manning IV and wife, Clair Clark, Molly Carpenter and husband, James Douglas of Fort Worth, and Jim Lindsey Manning of Austin. Joe leaves behind his grandchildren, Douglas Manning Reese, Dr. Ava Erin Manning and her husband, Frank Verducci; Molly Elizabeth Reese and her husband, Wesley Ward; Heidi Jean Manning and her husband, Kendall Archer, Allison Ann Carpenter and her husband, Pete Yoder; Joe W. Manning V; and Mary Katherine "Katie" Carpenter and her husband, Jeff Wilson; great-grandchildren Madeline, Abigail, Luke and Lucy Archer; Lily, Ava and Wylie Ward; Jack and Nick Verducci; Will Yoder; and Carsey Wilson. He is also survived by his sister, Cynthia Manning Joost, his sister-in-law Ava Brecheen Duncan; numerous beloved nieces, nephews and cousins; lifelong friend Dick Conolly of Corpus Christi and special friends Tyanna Jones and Lenore Lockett.


Joe Manning center with Carsey Manning (left) and Sunlaw project manager for Hawker-Siddeley Herb Cook