Back to Blog

Remembering Longtime NCWN member and trustee Al Manning

Written by Executive Director Ed Southern

Longtime NCWN member and trustee Al Manning passed away Sunday, his family has announced on social media. He was 87. 

In his long and fascinating life Al served in the U.S. Navy, taught computer science, played a mean piano, and wrote beautiful stories. 

He also lied, repeatedly: describing himself as “The Resident Curmudgeon” when even the quickest interaction with Al revealed how warm and generous a person he was. He could come across as crusty, as befits an old salt, but he liked people far too much to be a curmudgeon. 

Al especially liked writers. He served more than a dozen years on the Network’s Board of Trustees, and volunteered as a Rep first in Haywood County, and then in Chatham when he and his wife moved down out of the mountains. Al started Chatham County’s still-running Writers Morning Out, among many other offerings for his neighbors and fellow writers. His devotion was not so much to the Network as an organization as it was to them, those neighbors and fellow writers, in whom he delighted. 

His family has not scheduled a memorial service as of this writing, but they did ask any who “want to honor him (to) consider a donation to one of his favorite organizations,” naming the Haywood Community College Foundation, the Haywood Regional Arts Theater, and of course the NC Writers’ Network.