Cover photo for Melvin Manning's Obituary
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1936 Melvin 2024

Melvin Manning

March 4, 1936 — June 29, 2024

New Castle

Melvin Manning entered Heaven on Saturday June 29, 2024. He was 88 years old. Born Melvin O’Brien Manning on March 4, 1936, in a little cabin in the holler of Hillsboro KY, the first born of Berry O’Brien and Lorena (Rice) Manning. The family moved many times until they settled in Carthage, IN where he went to school. Melvin met and fell in love with Marilyn Ann Gardner, a shy girl of 15, they married January 30, 1954. Rev. Cleo Cox of Knightstown officiated the marriage in his home. Mel and Marilyn raised five children and enjoyed 53 years of marriage. Many people may not know that he was quite artistic and loved to do pencil drawings of Cowboys, Ships and Trucks to the delight of his children and grandchildren. He was a logger in his early years, then went on to work as a diesel mechanic and truck driver until his retirement. Together Melvin and Marilyn opened Mel’s Diner in Knightstown during the 1990’s and he was well known for his chili. Mel loved Blue Grass music and Southern Gospel. Every week at their restaurant they hosted a Blue Grass night and people would come from all over to play music, sing, eat, laugh and have a great time.

After the loss of his first wife, Melvin met Carol Riley of New Castle, they married Sept. 16, 2007, enjoying almost 17 years together. This was a second lease on life for them both as she was also a widow. It was a very good match. They lived a good life and were able to enjoy going to Blue Grass festivals and traveling as much as they could, spending time with family and friends. Their church family at Smyrna Baptist was a very important part of their lives. 

Melvin was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend. For us kids he was almost larger than life. He was fair, to the point, absolutely rock solid and the patriarch of a very large family. There is one thing he would want everyone to know, his absolute faith and trust was in the Lord Jesus Christ. We all knew that he would pray for us daily and if you would ask him how he was doing he would tell you “I am Blessed”. 

Melvin was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Marilyn (Gardner), daughter Virginia Ottinger, son Melvin O Manning Jr, 2 grandsons David Alan Tompkins, Dennis Marshall James, 1 great grandson Cameron Wood; a brother Larry Manning; stepson Kelly Riley.

 Left to cherish his memory and carry on his legacy are his wife, Carol of New Castle, 3 daughters, Valerie Manning (Scott Lukens), Karen (Donald) Wells, Connie (Mark) Tompkins all of Knightstown, stepson, Chuck Riley of New Castle, daughter in law, Judy Manning of New Castle; grandchildren, Suzy Wyatt, Eric Miles, William Brien James, Michael Tompkins, Joseph Ottinger, Matthew Tompkins, Brooke Wood, Abigail Ingersoll, Brandi Small, Samuel Tompkins, Tyler Manning, Colton Manning; step grandchildren Sean Benjamin, Shane Benjamin, Nikki Riley, Haley Riley, Aaron Wells and Corey Wells; 34 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren; three brothers, Norman “Butch” Manning, Donald (Pat) Manning, Dale (Carolyn) Manning; three sisters, Sue George, Debbie (Randall) Black, Marsha (Mike) Redman; 2 sisters-in-law, Marabel (Steve) Lowring, Anita Hedge; special uncle Gaar Manning of Ohio, several nieces and nephews.

 Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 5, 2024 at Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service, Knightstown Chapel with Pastor David Burgess officiating. Burial will follow in Glen Cove Cemetery in Knightstown. Visitation will be from 11:30-1:30 p.m. Friday, prior to the service. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Smyrna Baptist Church Building Fund, Spiceland IN. You may share memories and condolences at

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, July 5, 2024

11:30am - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, July 5, 2024

1:30 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

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