James R. “Jim” Manuel

November 13th, 2014

James R. “Jim” Manuel, age 80, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on November 12, 2014, at the Winchester Hospital.

Jim was born on July 2, 1934 in Medford, MA; he was the cherished son of the late James and Lorraine E. (Fraser) Manuel. Jim lived in Medford until moving with his family to Wilmington as a young boy. Jim was educated in Wilmington and during his high school years he also traveled back and forth to Medford Vocational School where he took additional classes. Jim graduated from Wilmington High School with the Class of 1952.

Jim enlisted in the United States Navy on March 15, 1953, during the Korean War. Jim served overseas aboard the USS Observer for nearly three years and received several commendations for his service. Jim was honorably discharged from active duty on March 12, 1957 and went on to his duties in the Navy Reserves. During this time, Jim chose to further his education and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky.

Jim returned home to his family in Wilmington and took a teaching position in Stoneham, MA and soon discovered that he had found his calling as a teacher. Jim then went to work as a teacher for the Department of Defense Dependent’s School which took him to South Korea for a few years and then off to Germany where he made life long relationships with his students in Bonn, Munich, and Heidelberg. Jim’s passion for teaching young minds was incredible; he not only made teaching fun, but he made his student’s believe in themselves and strive to be whatever they wanted to be.

Jim traveled all over the world; his trek across Siberia, the Ho Chi Minh Trail, trips all over Europe and Asia as well as his many travels to points unknown were always shared with his family, friends, and students; he always brought the world to others.

Jim was an avid Photographer and a wiz on the computer; he shared his talents with his many students and was instrumental in sponsoring and putting together their many school yearbooks.

A large part of Jim’s life was volunteering with the Boy Scouts. Jim was a Scout Leader and Scout Master in Germany and here in the United States. Jim was a role model for the scouts, he taught them honesty, loyalty, integrity, community, and most of all hard work and compassion for others. He was truly and inspiration and always led by example.

As a Mason, Jim, was always there to lend a hand and was actively involved with the Masons Organizations all over the world. Jim was a member of the Bavarian Masons in Europe as well as the Friendship Lodge in Wilmington, MA. Jim’s winning personality, his unending knowledge, dependability, and his willingness to put others before himself made him a favorite amongst his fellow Masons. Jim made life-long friends with his fellow Masons all over the world and they will never forget him.

Jim was a man of great faith; he had a strong love of God, family, and his country; he was an active parishioner of the United Methodist Church in Wilmington, MA, where he was well loved and respected. Jim was always helping out with fund raisers, missions, volunteer work, or anything else that he could do for his fellow parishioners to make their lives a little easier.

Jim will be fondly remembered for his kindness and compassion for others. His unconditional love and devotion to his family, friends, students, scouts, and fellow Masons was always unwavering. Jim’s exemplary life was truly an example for all to live by and his unselfishness towards others should be a lesson for us all. Jim was a ordinary man that lived an extraordinary life; he will be truly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Jim was the cherished son of the late James and Lorraine E. (Fraser) Manuel, dear brother of Barbara L. Clifford of Tewksbury, Janet Manuel of Wilmington, Patricia (Weir) Belinski and her husband Charles of Tewksbury, Thomas G. Manuel and his wife Jane Kroll Manuel of Summerville, SC, loving uncle of Daniel, James, Judith, Theresa, Dorothy, William, Lawrence, Joseph, Barbara, Pamela, Sandra, Janet, Lawrence, Jr., Gordon, Nannette, Kristine, Korin and the late Michael, Mary Ann, Mark, John and Eugene, nephew of Jean Clark of Melrose and Ruth Upham of Maine. Jim is also survived by many great-nieces & great-nephews, cousins and friends.

Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service at the United Methodist Church of Wilmington on Monday, November 17th promptly at 11:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visitation will be held at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA on Sunday, November 16th from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the United Methodist Church of Wilmington, 87 Church Street, Wilmington, MA 01887, to the Friendship Lodge of Wilmington, 32 Church Street, Wilmington, MA 01887 or to Union College, 310 College Street, Barbourville, KY 40906.


12 Entries in Guest Book for “James R. “Jim” Manuel”

  1. David Fabie says:

    James Manuel touched countless lives. He was a friend, a brother, a teacher, a mentor, and so much more. There are people literally all over the world who can say honestly James was one of the most significant persons in their life.

    He was certainly that to me. James Manuel’s example of service, generosity, integrity and love of live, is one so many of us in Jim’s. “Scout family” will always aspire to.

    Lord Robert Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting once said “May your influence, like your shadow, touch places you will never be”. I can’t think of a more fitting description of the gift that James gave us all.

    James’ entire family and is extended family all around the world are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Carmen Pastora says:

    Jim Manuel was a great person!

    He was not only my teacher, mentor,
    leader, but most importantly a friend.

    I have nothing but fond memories of my
    time with him.

    He was a huge influence on me and I am
    a better person because of him.

    I just want to thank Jim for all the
    help and being my friend.

    Jim made the world a better place!

    God Bless Mr. Manuel!

    Carmen Pastora
    Munich HS 86

  3. Andrew Steitz says:

    Any attempt to summarize, in this limited space, the kind of person that Jim was would fall so woefully short that it would border on insult. Unfortunately, not to attempt to tell those who were never blessed enough to meet Jim about what kind of person he was would be an even bigger insult. Since I lack the eloquence of diction to elegantly craft a tribute worthy of Jim’s memory in such a short space, I hope the Boy Scouts will forgive me for plagiarizing them. Jim was trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. He also, on his honor, always did his best, to do his duty, to God and his country, to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep himself physically fit, mentally awake, and morally straight.

    And now
    May the Great Scoutmaster
    Of all great scouts
    Be with us
    Until we meet again
    And may we follow the trail
    That leads to Him (and Jim)

    Andrew Steitz
    Munich American HS 1987

  4. Chris F. says:

    Besides my parents, no single person shaped my life
    more than Jim did.

    Had I never known him, I would not have attended the
    university I did, made the lifelong friends I met there, or
    even gotten the job I still hold today.

    Jim was always there to laugh, listen, and give advice.
    He was unlike any teacher I ever had.

    I’m glad I got to visit with Jim in these last few years
    to let him know how much of an impact he had on me
    and my life.

    May he rest in peace.

  5. Norman Barth says:

    Jim was my math teacher and mentor in the early 70s at Bonn American High School, and lifelong friend. Generous, humble, and fun, he leaves a tremendous legacy of students and lives that he touched. He was a great man. My profound condolences to his family.

    Thank you for everything Jim.


    – Norman

  6. Timothy Kimbrough says:

    Mr. Manuel was also my math teacher in the early 70s at Bonn American High School (West Germany). He taught me to love learning. He taught that life beyond the classroom would be informed by the classroom. Most of all he taught me to color outside the lines. I’m not sure that I had had a math up to that point so gifted. Thank you. I miss you.

  7. Ann Maas Wagner says:

    Jim Manuel was not only my Math teacher in Bonn, Germany for two years but my mentor in passing on his love of photography and creating images. He shared his knowledge of darkroom printing with me and sparked my lifelong passion for photography. In October 2014 we both had one last time to reminisce of our wonderful times on yearbook and I could pay tribute to this caring man by photographing him one last time enjoying the students who loved him. We thank Jim for sharing himself to the Bonn community for so many years. He will always be in our hearts.

  8. Bob Shackleton says:

    Mr. Manuel was my math teacher in Bonn as well. He was the life of the party at our high school reunion in Washington in early October. He was an unusually kind, gentle, decent man, and a very good teacher. Deeply devout but never spoke about it. Had a positive impact on pretty much everyone he came in contact with. A good life.

  9. Mary Flaherty says:

    Mr. Manuel was my very favorite teacher of all time — even though he taught math. :) I am a teacher now, and I owe at least some of my humor, patience, and love of my students to him. A very good life, indeed. Rest happy, dear Mr. Manuel.

  10. Tom Lewis, BAHS '81 says:

    Rest in Peace, Jim. I enjoyed your company as my math teacher and yearbook advisor at Bonn American High School. I’m proud that you hung in for the reunion, and I wish I was able to attend. Your words shortly before the reunion were prophetic, and I’m so glad you chose to spend your last days partying with Crusaders who love you. We are your legacy, and we thank you for your guidance.

  11. Juergen Knees says:

    I would like to express my sincere condolences on the death of James R. Manuel to his Familie. He was a great person who inspired generations of Students. Juergen Knees.

  12. Marsh Warfield says:

    Jim Manuel was one of the most kind men I have ever met. He had a deep understanding of the human condition and always reached out a helping hand to anyone in need. That quality in itself made him an outstanding teacher as well as a treasured friend. He was a mentor to me in the darkroom/photographic process and we spent hours and hours working on BAHS yearbooks as well as our own images. His life was well-spent!!!!

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