James Bernhard Manley

James Bernhard Manley, 63 of Adrian, passed away on November 27, at Hickman Hospital in Adrian, Michigan following a courageous battle with Covid-19. 

Jim was born at Herrick Hospital in Tecumseh, on March 16, 1957, the first son of Charles M. and Alice (Everlove) Manley.  He shared his parents with older sisters, Vickie and Katie; and younger sister, Mary and brother, Rob.  Jim was proud to be a fourth-generation member of the Tecumseh community where his parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and aunts and uncles were well known and respected. 

Jim’s earliest years were spent in Tecumseh where he attended Tecumseh Acres School. When he was in the third grade, his family moved to Tipton where he completed grade school and made many life-long friends. 

He graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1975. In 1991, he graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology and Quality Control. 

Jim was a devout Christian. He met his loving wife, Erva Outman at a Bible study meeting in Tecumseh. They were married on August 4, 1979 in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at the Manley family home on Kilbuck Street. 

Together, Jim and Erva, raised their two children, Maryalice and Charles, both of whom inherited their father’s wit, big heart, work ethic and talent for making life-long friendships. Jim was the proud grandfather of James and Joseph Nick; and Nova Everlove.  He took enormous pride in his children and in his loving marriage of 41 years. Erva always brought the very best out in Jim. She was the wind beneath his wings.

When Jim was 18, he started working on the line at GM’s Willow Run Assembly Plant. Over the next 21 years he earned his way up the corporate ladder to become the Material Director at GM’s Marion Stamping Plant. Throughout his career, he was a respected consultant and expert in process improvement and inventory control. In his work, Jim traveled the world as a consultant for Delphi Automotive Systems, Faurecia and Carlisle. At the time of his passing, Jim was the Global Director of COS at Carlisle. 

Always a teacher, coach and mentor, he taught at Michigan State University where he was the Managing Director of the Demmer Center for Business Transformation. 

Jim served his communities through volunteer outreach. On November 3 of this year, he was elected a trustee for Raisin Township.  He was a past deacon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Tecumseh; and, an active member of Grace Point in Adrian, Mich., where he was a Stephen Minister. Among his many volunteer activities, he was co-founder of Re-Bicycle Lenawee and on the Board of the Whaley Children’s Center in Flint, Mich. 

Jim is survived by his wife Erva (Outman) Manley, his daughter Maryalice Nick (Joseph) and son Charles Manley (Rebecca) and three grandchildren, James and Joseph Nick and Nova Everlove. He is also survived by two sisters, Victoria Manley of Naperville, Ill. and Mary (Bryan) Koebbe of Adrian. He was preceded in death by his mother and father Charles and Alice Manley, sister Kathryn Manley and brother Robert Manley. 

Jim friended everyone he met — traveling the world and riding his bike around home. He will be forever missed by his family, co-workers, students, neighbors, congregation, fellow volunteers and friends. 

Donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the Neighbors of Hope Woman’s Shelter of Tecumseh, neighborsofhope.com, 504 W. Pottawatamie St, Tecumseh, MI 49286.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 3-8 p.m. and on Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 10-11 a.m. at the Tecumseh Chapel of Handler Funeral Homes. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, a private, family-only service, led by Pastor Greg Grotbeck will follow the visitation. Inurnment will be at Brookside Cemetery, 501 N. Union St., Tecumseh, MI 49286. Condolences may be offered to the family at handlerfuneralhomes.com.


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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