It is with loving hearts and profound sadness that we share, Willis Carroll Manning, Sr. passed away in his home at 87 years of age. He went to be with his Lord and Savior on May 22, 2023.
Willis, one of ten children, was born on May 12, 1936 in Franklin County to the late Cornelius and Ophelia Manning.
Willis was also preceded in death by his brothers Robert Manning, Johnny Manning and Earl Manning; sisters Etta Morgan, Jean Pipkin, Trudy Glover, Shirley Finch and Florine Davis. Willis is survived by his sister Lucille Miles of Roanoke Rapids.
In addition to his parents and siblings, Willis was preceded in death by his son Willis Carroll “Todd” Manning, Jr. in 2019 and his daughter Crystal Ann Travis in 2022.
Willis shared sixty-four years of marriage with Clee Doreen Finch. He also leaves to cherish his memory granddaughter Brittany Anne (Travis) Appell and husband Josiah of Ankeny, Iowa; great-granddaughters Gretchen and Julie Appell; step-grandson Michael Travis, Jr. of Tarboro; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Willis felt a strong need to help support his family and went to work at a young age. He knew the importance and value of a strong work ethic. In 1976, Willis became the owner and operator of The Suburban Grill in Tarboro. Willis desired to build community within Tarboro and serve the residents. His wife, son, and daughter worked alongside him. At the Grill, his employees were considered his second family. Tarboro residents were “regulars” at the Grill and would enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner meals for over 20 years. The Grill was an atmosphere of quality food, excellent service but, more importantly, warm conversation creating relationships that still exist through the generations.
Willis enjoyed tinkering and repairing anything mechanical. His other loves were fishing, bee keeping, gardening and beach trips to Manteo…he was not one to let dust settle on him. One would often find Willis and Doreen relaxing on their back porch where their yard was home to numerous hungry birds and squirrels.
The Manning family extends their thankfulness and sincere gratitude to special friend Mandy Ray.
Visitation will be held at Carlisle Funeral Home in Tarboro on Thursday, May 25th from 7-8:30 pm. Rev. Billy Crabtree will officiate a private graveside service and burial on Friday, May 26th at 11:00 am at Rocky Mt. Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Trinity Baptist Church; 730 West Wilson Street, Tarboro, NC 27886.
Willis and Doreen were faithful members at Trinity Baptist Church. They have felt the love from their church family through numerous acts of compassion and encouragement. Willis was a simple man and the scripture of Acts 16:31 would reflect his thinking “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” In the past few years, he faced challenges and we believe he leaned on scripture found in Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
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