August 19, 2010

Neal Manly, an attorney and 1960 graduate, devoted his professional career to representing poor people

Known to many in Levittown as Corky, Neal Manly was a quiet, studious young man. A member of the class of 1960, he died in 2008 and his obituary, which follows, tells the story of an extraordinarily special person.
CORNELIUS "NEAL" A. MANLY, 65, died after a seven-year battle with cancer on May 9, 2008, at his home in Irvington, Va. He was formerly of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Mr. Manly was born in New York City on December 26, 1942, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1962 to 1966. He was a graduate of American University, and Washington College of Law at American University. He was a member of the Bar in Ohio and North Carolina and practiced for 33 years. He married Stephanie Ames of Toledo on his birthday, the day after Christmas in 1970, giving them three celebrations within two consecutive days for the last 37 years.

Mr. Manly an attorney devoted his professional career to representing poor people. He started his career as a Vista volunteer for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland in the Hough area in 1972. He was the director of Summit County Legal Aid Society in Akron from 1976 to 1979 and Catawba Valley Legal Services in Morganton, N.C. from 1979 to 1990. He returned to Cleveland to manage offices in the Central neighborhood and Downtown Cleveland for the Legal Aid Society.

As an attorney for Legal Aid's Juvenile Unit in the early l970s, Mr. Manly steadfastly protected the rights of juveniles. In a series of cases, he fought for and obtained the right of low-income people to blood tests at the expense of the state when charged with paternity. This fight incurred the wrath of Juvenile Court judges, one of whom sought to hold him in contempt for his advocacy. After a trial, a visiting judge found Mr. Manly not guilty of contempt of court.

Neal enjoyed music, fishing and golf. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Shaker Heights High School athletic teams, especially the football, soccer and tennis teams of his sons. As a loving husband and father, he was an active member with his family of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights.

Surviving are his wife, Stephanie Ames Manly; two sons, Colin Ames Manly and wife, Kathryn C. of Cincinnati, Ohio and John Smith Manly of Cleveland Heights, Ohio; a seven month old grandson, Jackson Ames Manly; a sister, Patricia M. Peterson; a brother, Robert P. Manly, both of Florida.

A memorial service will be held 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 15 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44106. Memorials may be made to the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, 1223 W. Sixth St., Cleveland, OH 44113 or Hospice of Virginia, P.0. Box 2098, Tappahannock, VA 22560.

Published in The Plain Dealer on 5/13/2008.

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