John Thomas Manning

Long time San Benito County resident, John “Tom” Manning, finally lost his long battle with liver failure on December 31, 2017 at the age of 63.  He died peacefully in his sleep at Community Hospital of the Monterey Penninsula.   His wife, Kathleen and his son, Matthew lovingly cared for him until his two last days.

Tom was the co-owner of Nyland Herefords in San Juan Bautista.  He loved ranching and good horses.  He was born and raised in Southern California and met his future wife, Kathleen at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  When he first came up to the family’s ranch to work one summer, he said that he knew he had found his true home.  He loved the lifestyle and he loved the people.

He worked for a few good ranches on the Central Coast, the last one being Ferrara Ranches.  Then they were blessed by their beloved son.  Tom did not want to miss a minute of his son’s life, so he switched gears and a moved back to manage the family’s purebred ranch.  He still enjoyed training a few good horses and branding, besides raising good Hereford bulls.

Tom was a Trustee for the Aromas/San Juan School District, a Lieutenant in the San Juan Fire Department and a 4H Leader.  He was active in the San Benito County Cattlemen’s Association, being on the Board of Directors for years and served a term as President.  He was also on the Farm Bureau Board of Directors during the Measure G referendum and worked tirelessly to successfully to resoundingly defeat it.

Fishing was his passion, especially blue water fishing.  He started taking Matthew out at a very young age and taught him to become an excellent fisherman.   When the tuna would come within a hundred miles, Tom and Matthew would be out with their boat.  He loved taking Matthew’s friends and teaching them how to fish and shoot.  Matthew and Tom would go on a yearly long-range trip into Mexican waters to fish.  

Tom is survived by his wife, Kathleen and his son, Matthew.  He is also survived by two brothers.  He was preceded in death by his parents.  He was also preceded in death by Frank and Dorothy Avilla who Tom always said were more parents to him than in-laws.

Recently baptized into the Catholic Church, a Mass of the Resurrection will be held on January 20th, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Mission San Juan Bautista. A reception will follow at San Juan VFW Hall following the Mass.

Contributions can be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation c/o Grunnagle’s.