Share this article

print logo

William E. Manning, mechanical engineer, WWII veteran

June 10, 1921 – Dec. 30, 2015

William E. Manning, a mechanical engineer and World War II veteran, died Dec. 30 in Fox Run, Orchard Park, where he was a resident. He was 94.

Born in Buffalo, he grew up in the Old First Ward and was a graduate of Buffalo Technical High School.

He served in the Army Air Forces in World War II as an aerial engineer navigator in the headquarters squadron of the Alaskan Air Command, supervising air crewmen and repairs of planes. He attained the rank of staff sergeant.

He attended New York University on the G.I. Bill and was hired by General Electric in 1948 after he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. Assigned to Japan, where he and his family lived for 23 years, he led the team that built that nation’s first nuclear reactor.

After retiring in 1983, he settled in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he served in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, then lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., for 10 years. He returned to the Buffalo area following the death of his wife of 53 years, the former Norma Ruth Boyd, in 1999.

He traveled extensively in India and the Middle East and had a lifelong appreciation of Japanese art and culture.

Survivors include a daughter, Sue Ann Pierce; a sister, Mary Murphy; two grandsons; and two great-granddaughters.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Jan. 16 in St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 2950 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park.