Dedicated Owner, Breeder And Horseman, Jack Manning Passes Away
Longtime Texas horseman Jack Manning passed away June 12.

Courtesy Sunset Memorial Funeral Home
Dedicated Owner, Breeder And Horseman, Jack Manning Passes Away

ODESSA, TX–JUNE 27, 2022–Jack Manning, 96, passed away peacefully to join his bride in heaven on Sunday, June 12, 2022, in Odessa, Texas.

Jack was the second-born of six children to William C. Manning and Lela M. Manning on November 26, 1925, in Coryell County, Texas. Jack began his education early in life at the age of only 4 years old because his older brother, Billy, needed his assistance opening and closing the wire gates. He later attended Gatesville High School until making the noble commitment to serve his country.

Jack was sworn into the United States Army at the age of 18 and was immediately shipped out for basic and advanced training. He served in the 387th infantry regiment of the 97th infantry division during the European theater of operations during World War II.

He saw combat in France at Bastogne, Belgium and Czechoslovakia. After VE Day, he returned home on leave before being sent to the West Coast where he received amphibious training for the invasion of the Japanese Island. In July 1945, he was on a troop ship steaming to Japan. He was only two days away from the islands when the atomic bomb at Hiroshima occurred.

After Japan's surrender, Jack landed in Nagasaki Harbor and served a year with United States Occupation Forces in Japan. He was later honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant with a combat infantry badge.

While Jack had been away serving his country, his parents and younger siblings moved to Odessa, Texas. Upon discharge, he joined them and found work within the dust of the west Texas oilfields. Jack married Ina Joyce Motley, the love of his life, on May 15, 1947, at First United Methodist Church Odessa, Texas.

Housing was difficult to come by at the time they were newlyweds, so Jack worked 12 to 16-hour days as he was able. Eventually they were able to afford a small new house, where they would welcome their firstborn child, Jackie. Only 15 months later, they were blessed with a second son, Bobby.

As time passed and the family grew, Jack thought he could improve their lot by starting his own business the cowboy way. Fifty-two years ago, Jack mortgaged twenty momma cows at $300 apiece.

With $6,000, Jack and his friend Tilmon Perry founded Rock Tool Company on February 2, 1970. Later, Jack and his son bought out his partner. This was the first of over a dozen successful and diverse companies for Jack and Ina over the years. His businesses involved oil and gas, service, real estate, banking, ranching and breeding horses.

Jack's passions included helping children, horse racing, enjoying Ruidoso, feeding cows and Dr. Pepper.

Horses owned by Jack earned more than $1.2 million and include Grade 1 winner Rock Solid Jess ($253,214), Jess Rock On ($155,615) and Dashing Little Reba ($144,442). In his own name, he bred the earners of more than $794,000, led by Boi George ($188,261).

Jack was a long-standing freemason and a member of the El Maida Shrine in El Paso, Texas. He was a member of the AQHA and the Jockey Club in Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, for over 50 years.

Those that knew Jack well would say that though he was soft spoken, he had a presence that drew people to him. He was gentle as he was tough; reasonable as he was stubborn. He'll be remembered as "the horseman that just passed by" and the "last oilfield cowboy."

Jack is preceded in death by his wife, parents and all five siblings.

Jack is survived by his sons, C. Jack Manning and wife Rhonda of Odessa, Texas, and Bob D. Manning of Gatesville, Texas; seven step-grandchildren and many great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, if desired, the family requests donations be made to Shriner's Children's Hospital.

The family would like to express their great appreciation to dear friends Diane Norwood and Beth Cobb.

To send condolences to the family, please sign his guestbook at