Richard (Rick) Shannon Manley Sr.

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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Richard Shannon (Rick) Manley Sr. passed away on Jan. 5, 2019 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.  Rick’s big smile matched his big heart — a heart full of love for his family, a heart full of joy and mischief, but most of all, a heart dedicated to service to others. 

Born in Birmingham, Alabama on Nov. 23, 1932, he was adopted shortly thereafter by Dr. Richard S. Manley and his wife Alice Hughes Manley of Epes, Alabama.  Strongly influenced by his mother’s love of education, Rick grew up a multi-sport athlete at Livingston High School, graduating at the age of 16.  He obtained his business degree from the University of Alabama, where he played baseball, was a cheerleader and served as president of Delta Chi fraternity.

A proud Marine, Manley served his country during the Korean Conflict, retiring after more than 25 years as a Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve. After Korea, he attended the University of Alabama Law School and shortly after graduation, established his practice in Demopolis. His dedication to his profession was evident through his service for 20 years as a member of the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners from the 17th Circuit, and as the Chair of one of its Disciplinary Panels for a majority of that time.  Rick enjoyed a legal career that spanned more than 50 years, and included service as Demopolis City attorney for more than 20 years.  His illness forced his retirement from the profession he loved in 2011; his firm of Manley, Traeger, Perry and Stapp continues his professional legacy within the west Alabama community.

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Richard S. Manley believed in public service and giving back to his community and state.  He served as chairman of the school board, was active in Jaycees and in Rotary, and served in leadership roles at the First United Methodist Church. He served the people of west Alabama as both a Senator and a Representative as a member of the Alabama State Legislature for more than 25 years. Rick served as chairman of both the House and Senate Judiciary committees during his tenure, and was also elected as Speaker Pro Tem of the House.  He was recognized for his keen mind and principled leadership through his selection on more than one occasion as “the most effective legislator” by his peers and the media. Rick also served in leadership roles within the Alabama Law Institute and was one of the original members of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Board.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dr. Lillian Grace Cardwell Manley, who passed away in 1976.

He is survived by his son, Richard S. Manley Jr. (Carol); his daughter, Alyce Spruell (Bruce); his grandchildren, Richard S. Manley III, Winston Manley, Shannon Manley Cardwell (Cameron), Taylor Spruell (Katie), Cameron Spruell Atkinson (Michael); and his great-grandchildren, Audrey Grace and Riley Atkinson.

A Memorial Service will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Demopolis on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. Family visitation will be from 9:30 until 10:45 a.m. prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to The SALT Program, First United Methodist Church of Demopolis, 200 East Decatur Street, Demopolis, Alabama 36732 or to the Richard S. Manley Servicemen & Veterans Fund at The University of Alabama School of Law, Box 870382, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487.