ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Lela Manning, 63 years old, born on October 17, 1956, and passed away on October 8, 2020. We will remember her forever.
Posted by Jake Pinner on September 19, 2022
Posted by Jalane Pinner on October 17, 2021
Posted by Jalane Pinner on October 9, 2021


My dearest Aunt Lela,

 

You are so much more to me than my aunt.  You are my friend.  You are truly beyond special and words cannot describe how much you mean to me.  Your relationships with everyone are unique, I’m sure. As Veronique said in your obituary, not time nor distance affect your connections with us.  You are thoughtful, kind, jovial, loving, and forgiving.  I wish you were here right now.  You gave me so many wonderful gifts that expressed how you feel about me.  You always had a huge smile and an even huger hug for me no matter the where or what.  Above all you gave me your love, your daughter Veronique and my Uncle Sparky.  We will always be bound by our love for you. You always listened to me rant, counseled me when I needed it, knew when to let me figure it out on my own, and loved me unconditionally. 

 

When I think of you, I remember our visits, our talks, the games we played, the gifts you gave, and your laugh.  I can still hear you laughing, thank you Whoever.  You never, ever let me out of your sight or off the phone without making sure I knew how much you love me.  Not once.  I was the first baby, your first niece on your side of the family so you doted on me then and throughout my whole life. I am truly honored. You love my cousin, your daughter, Veronique and my Uncle Sparky, your husband, so fiercely and with all your might.   And yet you still have so much love to give.

 

I have never been a religious person, but you are a believer and still do not judge me.  Nor have you ever tried to to push your beliefs on me, ever.  Is that a part of your faith?

 

When Veronique told me you were about to pass, I read a book about losing a love.  I didn’t know how to deal.  There was a poem that hit home.  It describes those of us who love you watching you sailing away in a ship saying, “There she goes…” and all of those on the “other side” joyfully cheering, “Here she comes!”  I honestly believe this could not happen any other way.  I believe that you have moved onto another place, a wonderful place that is full of happiness while you look down on us. 

 

That, right there, means that I now have faith.  That is the last and most important gift you could ever give me.  Faith.

 

I love you.  I miss you.  Have a blast!  I hope to see you on the “other side”.

 

Jalane out.


Posted by Marisol Barrera on October 8, 2021
I can't seem to find the words or put them together in a way to describe properly how lucky I feel to have had Lela in my life.
I met Lela while working at Chase, usually after work we'd spend so much time talking about literally everything and anything. She was so understanding and kind and open minded, open hearted. She wore her heart on her sleeves, you knew what she feeling and thinking because she was always true and honest with you. It's so rare to meet a person like this. I miss Lela - I can hear her laugh, I can see her smiling face, feel the comfort she always managed to give. She was and is a best friend to me, always.
I appreciate Lela for inviting me into her family and making me feel so welcome, for allowing me to experience what it means to have a true friend.
There's so much more to say - but I hope the takeaway from this is that I love my friend and she will always be in my heart, and I will always treasure the friendship we had.
Posted by Jake Pinner on October 8, 2021
Aunt Lela was a woman of many roles. Mother, daughter, wife, aunt, friend and countless others. She was also a teacher in the sense that she taught us how to persevere through adversity in life. Early on in her life, she dealt with tragedy; her father died in a car wreck when she was ten months old and also she had a congenital heart condition and was not expected to make it past 18 months, but that’s exactly what she did. She didn’t scrape by in life, she lived a full eventful life and flourished for six and a half decades. She was a very loving kindhearted person and very compassionate. After Aunt Jean passed away in December 2010, , we started texting and talking more often and she listened to me and gave me advice for whatever came my way. I felt like I was her son in a way. In her final months she faced her declining state courageously and with grace and unfailing love for all of us. I miss her but I’m also very proud to be her nephew and illness nor passing will ever change that

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her Life

Obituary

Lela Ann Barber Manning passed away on October 8, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas.

Lela was in many ways a miracle child as she was not expected to have survived past 18 months old. Yet, despite her congenital heart issue she lived a full life. Playing basketball, softball (her favorite) and even football where she broke her collar bone. Playing softball is where she found the love of her life, Sparky Manning. They had gone to school together and their paths crossed numerous times, but it wasn’t until years later after school the two saw each other in a much different way.

Sparky and Lela fell in love, did everything the wrong way which drove her crazy, but she was in love, so it was ok. She was there to comfort him when he lost his dad and then a week later for his grandfather. She formed an indestructible bond with his grandmother, Nanny, who became her mentor and confidante. They had a daughter, Veronique Manning. They always wanted more children as they both had a strong love for them, but it was not to be. Their family of three grew up together. Tight knit and strong. Always there for one another. Throughout the years Veronique would bring her friends home and Lela and Sparky couldn’t help but dote on them. Some they even adopted as their own in spirit like Theresa Stansell.

Lela and her daughter Veronique had a special relationship. Having the ability to stay home and raise Veronique, Lela created a tight bond between the two. She was always there supporting Veronique at anything she tried or enjoyed from soccer to ballet to softball to choir to drama and so many others. She never missed a practice, event or show. Always there with camera in hand and a smile on her face. Lela encouraged Veronique to go after whatever she wanted and was honest with her about her abilities even if she knew it may hurt Veronique’s feelings. Lela and Veronique could often be found to be inseparable the love for each other undeniable.

Lela loved her mother unconditionally. Lela worried about her mother and always wanted only the best for her. She cherished the good visits, chats and times that they shared together. The two shared a love of turquoise jewelry. She loved looking at old pictures and the times her mother would divulge information about her dad with her. Lela and her mother both share a passion for genealogy, a connection to the past, a knowing of where you come from. She was proud of her mother’s accomplishments and always hoped that her mother was proud of hers.

Lela was always in awe of her big sister Jeanine. As a kid she would always want to tag along and be with Jeanine. As an adult she admired Jeanine’s intellect and was always impressed by her pottery skills and her newfound glass slumping skills. She loved and admired how her sister could be both crafty and smart and sharp. She loved her sister so immensely. The two could go years without talking or seeing each other and her love would not wane a bit as she would think about Jeanine every day.

Lela was a devoted aunt. When her big sister Jeanine Pinner gave birth to Laney Pinner it was one of the proudest moments of her life to see and hold her beautiful niece. That instant bond was one that could not be broken by time or distance. Lela loved Laney as she would if she were her own daughter. She would proudly share Laney’s accomplishments with friends and family. Always there to support in anyway. Years later when once again her big sister Jeanine was blessed with another sweet baby, Lela was ready with her big heart. Again, it was an instant bond with her nephew Jake Pinner. She really enjoyed watching Jake grow into the handsome amazing man he is today. She was once again a proud aunt. Loving Jake like the son she never had. She would tell anyone and everyone who would listen how proud she was of his accomplishments and what he was doing next. She wanted so badly to see him sing at Carnegie Hall.

She was also a supportive and loving aunt to her nieces Bonnie Manning and Paula Manning. Always willing to go to dinner to catch up or have a long conversation about life and what’s going on. Always trying to help in the way she knew how. She really loved Bonnie’s beautiful children Daisy and Aiden. She enjoyed being able to talk and play with them when she was feeling good. She loved watching Daisy sing and dance and show off her talents, always recording it on her phone.

Lela had the distinct honor of being able to watch her brother-in-law, Bryan Manning, grow up into the most amazing man he is today. She witnessed his struggles; she knew his pain. She watched him find the love of his life Suzy Manning (who she shared a great friendship with and called her sister) and the two of them start a family together. She was so proud of Bryan’s accomplishments in his life. She had watched him turn from an angry teenager (rightfully so) to the accomplished patient man he is today who is generous with his heart and time. Often, she would be blown away by his beautiful words of love and encouragement for herself and others. Her love for him was so great that she would simply call him her brother.

Suzy and Bryan met as teenagers and so Lela got the privilege of seeing Suzy grow up. She witnessed Suzy’s evolution from teenager to newlywed to young adult and motherhood. Lela and Suzy would often discuss their shared woes and lean on each other for understanding as only they could. They would often discuss what was going on in each other’s lives. Suzy loves playing games almost as much as Lela and they would often play games together. Once Lela and her family lived close enough Suzy would bring meals over every so often. Suzy would often persuade Lela into celebrating her birthday, even when Lela didn’t want to. Always making it a special celebration. When Lela would fall ill and be in the hospital Suzy would coordinate with family to have flowers delivered for her, to brighten up her room. Suzy was another beautiful soul, sister by choice of Lela’s.

Lela always had a special place in her heart for her mother-in-law, Gin Gray. Gin and Lela had become closer in the past few years. Lela was glad that she and her family lived so close to Gin and it proved to be beneficial many times. Living near by her brother-in-law Tracy Manning and sister-in-law Cecilia Manning was also something Lela enjoyed because it meant she would get to spend more time with everyone at family gatherings. Lela loved playing games and being closer to family meant she was able to do this more often with the people she loved. She cherished the times spent with family whether playing games or just chatting.

If Lela considered you a friend, then she considered you family. Wanda Galjour a friend of Lela’s younger sister became her sister by choice. Wanda was always there to lend a helping hand, share her knowledge, and words of encouragement. Lela could see how big Wanda’s heart is and was so proud of all that she had accomplished in her life. Lela was proud and blessed to call Wanda her sister.

Lela also loved her friend Roxie Ivie so deeply not only for her friendship but for introducing her to her faith. The two shared a friendship that spanned over 35 years and many miles apart. Lela and her family would visit Roxie and her family in many places through the years. Lela loved seeing Roxie’s big family grow year after year. In the last year, the two were able to exchange video messages via Marco Polo to each other. Visually sharing in each other’s lives. Roxie was another that Lela was blessed to call her sister by choice.

Lela also would make work friends, family as she did with Marisol Barrera.  Marisol and Lela would have long discussions after work.  Discussing life, love, hopes, and dreams.  The two became remarkably close and soon Marisol became Veronique’s friend as well.  It wasn’t long that she was of course accepted as one of the family.  She attended Lela and Sparky’s 25th wedding anniversary vow renewal on mustang beach in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Marisol was also invited to their Ruby, 40th, wedding anniversary celebration.  Lela loved Marisol as if she were her own blood regardless of the time or distance apart.

Lela loved connecting and catching up with friends from her past like Lilly Miller.  She invited her husband and daughter to join, she loved sharing her life with those she loved.

Lela is survived by so many wonderful people that she loved, friends and family alike.

Shortly before her passing Lela received a blessing. She was having some PVCs and blood pressure issues as the blessing began but shortly after it started everything calmed down. We know that was her spirit being put at ease and that gives us some comfort.

We take comfort in knowing she is with her daddy that she never got to know, Nanny who meant so much to her and was such a significant woman in her life, her aunt Jean whom she loved and respected immensely, among so many other wonderful ancestors that have gone before us. She is in amazing company that’s for sure.  We on the other hand are left with the hole in our hearts and lives, the memories, and the tears to forge ahead without her as hard and heart wrenching as it may be.

Lela passed surrounded by the husband she loved for almost 42 years, her devoted daughter, her sister she loved beyond measure and admired for her numerous abilities and intellect, her beautiful niece whom she loved like her own child, her sister by choice who she loved so great for her beautiful heart, her brother-in-law whom she loved as a brother and was so proud of for his kind and generous heart and the mother who brought her into this world just 9 days shy of her 64th birthday.

She may have been born with heart issues and collected more along the way but her heart was the biggest and hardest working heart we have ever seen.  Hers is a legacy of love. She gave love freely despite the hurdles and obstacles that may have been placed in the path and that love was returned to her ten-fold. We move forward without her but NOT without her love.

Lela is survived by her husband and daughter, William Manning and Veronique Manning of Devine, Texas; Mother, Jeanette Hunt of San Antonio, Texas; Sister and Brother-in-law, Jeanine Pinner and Gary Pinner of Buda, Texas; Soul Sisters, Wanda Galjour of Boerne, Texas and Roxie Ivie of Roosevelt, Utah; Mother-in-law, Gin Gray of Devine, Texas; Brothers-in law and Sisters-in-law, Bryan and Suzy Manning and Tracy and Cecilia Manning of Devine, Texas; Nieces and Nephew, Laney Pinner and Jake Pinner of Buda, Texas, Bonnie Manning of Devine, Texas, and Paula Manning of San Antonio, Texas; Her Fur Baby, Greycie of Devine Texas.  She is preceded in death by her father, Everett Vernon Barber, Aunt Norma Jean Barber, and Nanny (Ivy) Manning.

Lela’s husband and daughter are sorry for the late notice but found it extremely difficult to post her obituary as it made the loss too real.

A memorial for Lela will be held at a date and time to be announced.  A memorial website has been created in her name.https://www.forevermissed.com/lelamanning/aboutThe family would love for those who knew Lela to visit the webpage and share stories, pictures, videos, and/or voice recordings.  The memorial website will also give details about her memorial.

Her memory, life, and love will live on through all of us. We are her legacy of LOVE.

Recent stories

My 2nd Birthday

Shared by Veronique Manning on September 15, 2022
My second birthday without my mom.  It hurts just as bad today as last year.  Only good thing is I’m not worried about my dad’s health as much this year at this time.  Last year my pain was exponential for many reasons.  As I think back on past birthdays with her it’s hard not to smile or laugh

My mom would make a cake for almost every one of my birthdays.  Sometimes it was fancy (she made me an awesome Strawberry Shortcake, the character, cake when I was a kid) and sometimes it was plain, but it was always made with love which made it taste so good.  When she wasn’t able to make them for me anymore, we would buy them.  It was always my choice and a big deal. 

When I was a kid, she would give me the gifts she knew I wanted.  She would also give me gifts that denoted a milestone in my growth.  I remember one year being so excited to get shaving gel and a razor because it meant I was growing up.  When I was a child Cabbage Patch Kid dolls were the big thing.  I wanted one so bad because they came with a birth certificate and everything.  I always wanted to be a mom and so this doll felt like my first foray into parenthood.  However, they were hard to find because they were so popular and pretty expensive.  My mom looked at the doll in the store, studied it and thought to herself “I can make that” and she did.  She made me a Cabbage Patch Kid, clothes and all, no birth certificate but everything else.  She did a great job too.  I didn’t even realize at first it wasn’t the real doll.  I loved that doll so much and took it with me everywhere.  Then a year or two later they were easier to buy, and we were able to afford it and she bought me a “real” one because she felt she had cheated me with making my first one.  The birth certificate was everything I had hoped, and the doll was great, I love it too, but it was definitely not as special as the one she made for me.  

As I got older, she would ask me what I wanted for my birthday, but it didn’t really matter what I told her because she would find something unique and special that I would of course love.  When she could, she would still make me gifts as well.  I rarely received expensive gifts or big-ticket items for my birthday.  Her gifts were always thoughtful and showed me just how well she knew me and loved me. 

It's hard celebrating a day that has always been so imbued with my mom’s presence.  A day we have shared in together all my life.  My mom always made me feel so special on my birthday with the little things she’d do.  I miss her every day but today is one of the ones that hits harder.  

Mother’s Day 2022

Shared by Veronique Manning on May 9, 2022
It’s an odd feeling celebrating a Mother’s Day without my mother for the second year. Today is simply a reminder of what I’ve lost, my best friend and mother. I can of course still celebrate her for all that she was but it still comes with the sharp and stinging price. A jarring reminder that she is no more and that I will never have her again in this life.  

I wonder if she had been a mean, spiteful, and unrelenting mother if I’d feel the same. I suppose to some extent I would as she would be regardless the woman who brought me into this world. However, I don’t think my heartache would be as great as it is now because I know what I’m missing. I’m missing a mother who loved unconditionally. A mother who gave up dreams for me.  A mother who gave me a voice and taught me to use it. A mother that believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. A woman who above all else wanted nothing more in life than to be my mother. 

Mom was fulfilled being a wife and mother. That didn’t mean that she didn’t have dreams. She wanted to get a college degree and she was only 3 credits away from her associates.  I was lucky enough to go to college with my mom and we took many courses together. I loved hearing her take and opinions on what we learned and sharing mine with her. Often they coincided but at times they were opposing. We both took that in stride and respected each other’s side even if it really frustrated us.

She dreamed of helping people. She loved psychology. She wanted to learn and understand what made people tick and could be quite empathetic.  She wanted to help people learn about themselves and help them through their issues. She dreamed of being a social worker or therapist. 

She was an amazing artist. She crafted so many lovely items for people from several different mediums. She loved ceramics, crocheting, macrame, etc. if it was a craft she was interested and wanted to try.  Many of us are honored to have items she lovingly hand crafted for us. 

While she didn’t get to achieve all her dreams, because like most of us life gets in the way, she still felt satisfied with what she did accomplish. Forging bonds of love with all those she held dear. 

Even though her heart may have been weakened physically, her spiritual heart was as big and as strong as ever. She gave love freely and without strings.  I know I’m not the only one that misses her but today hurts more than the others because I can’t celebrate it with her. She is forever loved and forever missed.

Voicemails

Shared by Veronique Manning on October 8, 2021
I have always been a good sleeper.  I was sleeping through the night by 2 weeks old.  I could sleep through Christmas morning, which really annoyed my mom.  So, as I got older she would call me and when I didn't answer because I was sleeping, she would come up with all kinds of zany ways of waking me up.  She would say that she was the front desk calling about an emergency and I needed to wake up.  She called once claiming to be the IRS and that they would come to my home and wake me up.  That was a spoof off of the fake IRS calls that were going around.  She even did a wake up call saying that watching the Olympics would be my punishment, which was funny because we loved watching the Olympics together, she just wanted me to get up so she could watch. 

Even the voicemails she left me when we were having a fight are a comfort now.  Hearing her asking me to call her back so we could work it though and that she loved me.  I miss hearing her voice, her laugh, even the angry tone in her voice when she was upset with me.  I miss it all, the good and the bad.  So, these voicemails are nice to listen to and remember.

I've included several for y'all to listen to in the Audio section of this website.  They are all labeled a voicemail of some type.  I tried to give them fitting names.

I used this picture of her because it's one of my favorites.  She was truly angry in this picture and did not want her picture taken.  I love my mom's angry face.  I miss it so.