UPDATE: Memorials Honor Michael Manning

Those who wish to send a memorial message and photos for printing in The Mountain Enterprise as a tribute for Michael Manning are invited to send their comments, notes and photos to Editor@MountainEnterprise.com as soon as possible. Subject line: MM [Please see below.]

SYLMAR (April 27, 2009, 2 p.m.)—Funeral services took place Monday, April 27 at Glenhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary in Sylmar at 2 p.m. in the Mortuary Chapel. The attendance of youth, parents, friends and members of the community was overwhelming. See below to contribute to a fund to help the family cover funeral costs.

FRAZIER PARK (April 23, 2009, 4:15 p.m.)–A group of youth gathered at the skatepark in Frazier Mountain Park this afteroon to "Ride for Mike." Michael Manning was a joyful BMX bike rider and an avid skateboarder, said to have encouraged numerous youth to "keep on trying, keep on practicing." At a memorial event on Wednesday many said Manning had been an inspiration and a mentor to them.

LEBEC (April 23, 2009, 2:20 p.m.)–Frazier Mountain High School held its formal memorial hosted by the Associated Student Body for Michael Manning in the gymnasium this afternoon. ASB advisor Tim Garcia welcomed students to the memorial and introduced Manning’s close friends Ryan Herron, Taylor Herron, Jackson Romanowski and Robert Burns, who spoke about their memories of Michael and their belief that he would not want his friends to grieve. They said Michael loved the FMHS drumline, which stepped forward to play several numbers in his honor. A slide show followed with images of Manning flying through the air on his BMX bicycle mid-stunt with the song "Kids" by MGMT playing. His teammates from the Falcon football program gave a team shout. ASB President Nick Onyshko spoke of his memories of Michael (see Memorial Notes below) and the unity of the Falcon family.

Donations to help with funeral expenses: Onyshko said the ASB is collecting money to help the family with funeral expenses. For every $2 donated, $4 will be added to the donation by another student organization, Friday Night Live (FNL). You can drop off contributions to the school office in an envelope labelled "Michael Manning." Checks can be made out to FMHS ASB with "Michael Manning" in the memo field.

The deadline for donations is Wednesday April 29. Contributions can be dropped off at the school office in an envelope labeled Michael Manning from 8 a.m/-3 p.m. Any questions can be directed to FMHS at 248-0310, ask for Mr. Garcia, ASB Advisor.

PINE MOUNTAIN (April 22, 2009, 10:20 p.m.)–Tonight, beginning at 7 p.m., about two hundred youth and adults came together at the Pine Mountain village gazebo in a spontaneous memorial for Michael Manning, 15. The Frazier Mountain High School sophomore died April 20—almost exactly 48 hours earlier. He fell from a cliff on San Emigdio Mountain.

"We’re a small community, a small school. We are a family, one family. Michael was a brother to all of us, even those who were not his closest friends," one young woman said. Parent Alex Fields, who is also president of the FMHS Booster Club, encouraged the youths to "grieve, but grieve responsibly."

Children from eight years of age, Michael’s fellow students, parents and teachers all stepped forward to share their own experiences and memories of the young man. He was widely known for his kindness to others and his perpetually cheerful manner, they said. He was a talented athlete.

Young men and women, teenagers, spoke lovingly of the friend "who never said a mean word to anyone." They fondly remembered his love for snowboarding, bike stunts and skateboarding. They laughed about his low-slung trousers, prominent boxer shorts and about his classroom pranks. About 35 people, or more, spoke through tears and often in choking voices to tell their friend good-bye and to comfort one another. Clusters of teens embraced through tears and sobs. They talked about "the unity of the Falcon family."

Fields asked that people not go to the mountain overlook where Michael died until the worst of their shock and grief had passed, "and only go in the daytime, responsibly," he said, indicating concern that emotional youths had been talking about going up to San Emigdio Mountain. "We don’t need any more tragedies," Fields said.

Call for photos: Deborah Khouja of Take One Theater says: we are helping the family put together a memorial slide show for the funeral. If you have photos of Mikey or of you and Mikey, please send them to Editor@MountainEnterprise.com as soon as possible (they will process them and transfer them to us for the slideshow).

MEMORIAL NOTES: (include yours by sending to Editor@MountainEnterprise.com, subject line: MM)

Dear Mountain Enterprise,
My name is Shalyn.
Michael Manning was an amazing person. He cared for everyone and always showed respect. We all loved him and we always will. I met him about only three times but he really was one of the nicest guys I ever met.=]

I’m Michael’s uncle-In-law. It breaks my heart to hear of this tragic incident. To see the family members go through such great hardship. I can only ask that when you see your parents, children, family, friends, cherish them. Let them know you love them.

Nick Onyshko, Frazier Mountain High School ASB president:

April 20, 2009, a day that will be remembered at Frazier Mountain High School for many years to come.

Personally, I did not know Michael Manning very well. To me he was the guy with the long black hair who wore a colorful, hand made beanie; bright blue pants, and had an amazing personality that rubbed off on those around him.

One day, I was in Ms. Castillo’s room 7th period having a meeting with her about ASB. She had just gotten the rowdy class settled down and called Michael over to her desk, where I was sitting, to give him the test. Michael and I said “hi” to each other and as he was walking back to his desk with the test, Ms. Castillo yells “Michael…pull up your pants” at that point he turns to her, pulls up his pants and says “ oh…you know you like it.” The entire class then breaks out into a roaring laugh, myself included.
Michael was able to bring a smile to my face that day, and every time I saw him around school after that, that moment popped into my head, and I couldn’t help but smile.

Even though he was a classmate I didn’t know very well, that memory of Michael will stay with me forever!

Through Michael’s death our Falcon Family has become united. We will grieve, and hurt as a family, but eventually we will overcome this tragedy, and heal, together, as one.

Michael has showed us that life is a gift, and you never know when that gift will be taken away. Value your friendships and do not take a single day for granted as many of us, including myself, have done for far to long.

ASB has started a collection jar to help raise money for Michael’s family so far you have raised over $200. Friday Night Live has pledged to not match, but double the total amount that ASB is able to raise. For that $2 that you put into the collection jar, FNL will donate $4.

From Michael’s closest friends to those of us who did not know him as well as we would have liked to, it is clearly evident that Michael has touched all of our lives in one way or another.

Michael, you are not only deeply missed by everyone here at Frazier Mountain High School, but you hold a place in our hearts, and will never be forgotten.

For Michael

Smiling eyes that greeted every new day, and took a heart hostage, are now at rest.
A young life, filled with moments of passion, energy and love, is now gone from sight.
The sound of a voice, so familiar…that echoed through the forest, now whispers to the soul.
Footsteps that crowded the door, laughter that filled a room and boundless strength that captured a world…are far from view.
If ever there was a life worth living…it was with Michael.
This life of Michael’s has not gone far…it rests for but a moment in time…and beckons us all to find the wandering spirit of youth within ourselves.
My hope and prayer is that Michael will forever laugh, and smile and play among the clouds…all the while remaining close enough to all who knew and loved him, to tenderly embrace them with his spirit.
With the greatest of sorrows…and everlasting compassion at Michael’s passing from this world~

Richard, Heather and Adam

I am Michael Mannings uncle Jimmy and although I have been estranged by my mikeys immediate family(valid reasons on both sides) I have always had a deep love for mikey, and it was rekindled this holiday season by a visit by mikey I was delighted to find out he was playing football and told him so, he then gave me the e-mail # for frazier mountain football falcons so I could follow his progress, and then it occured to me that the estrangment did’nt have to include mikey and that me feel good to know I could still be a part, of his life, that being said this is the blackest day of all time it has shaken me to the foundation and I’ll never be the same, I do not know if I can carry on and right now I don’t care, you would have had to have known him under stand why, when I first met mikey he was 2 yrs old and the first time he saw me he ran away crying(like most people) he ran into his little tent he had in his bedroom and peeped his head out to see what this strange intruder was doing, when he saw I meant him no harm he emerged full questions and wonder, that particuler day ha was happy to tell that he could eat steak now only his mommy has cut for him first, he then asked if I had to have my steak cut for me I fell in love with him right from the start and for awhile I was a big part of his life I taught him how to relax at the plate while batting I was there when he had his bmx crash(he was following me on the track and I had to avoid a hole in the track and just when I looked backed to tell him to watch for the hole he hit it, boom! I put my arms around him and told him to just let it all out and he did. I once told mike senior that those years were like a celebration,a celebration of mikey and I am eternally gratefull for those years and uterlly devasted by this loss, I am disappointed, no angry with the lord for allowing this to happen ….I thank everyone for being mikeys friend we all share this grief for life, so let’s try to live it like he is still with us UNCLE JIMMYdiazjm6@aol.com

MikEL loved MGMT like Electric Field! This boy did everything at 120 miles-per-hour! He wasn’t afraid of anything. He really did live his life to the fullest. He loved riding bikes. He always did crazy turns and stuff.
LoVe FoReVeR,
Liz Bondeson

By Sahara Khouja and Danielle Gendron
A human life is taken for granted. The saying “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” goes into effect when a life is lost. Most often a person thinks they are invincible and nothing will ever take their life away, but the sad reality is a person’s life is like a stick, it can be snapped so easily.

Every person on this Earth, the place we call home, has a purpose, even if they were only here for a short amount of time. When someone close to us is lost we grieve and wish they were still standing here living life with us.

After a soul departs from a body we can only hope there is a better place for their soul to go, a place of peace and eternal happiness. There is no real way to know when someone close to us could leave this Earth, all we can do is love the people that surround us.
A human life is a terrible thing to lose, especially a life that was as beloved as Michael Manning’s.
In loving memory of Michael Manning.

I would like to thank all the friends and famliy who came to the funeral yesterday. Iit was the most unbeliveable thing i had ever seen
for a young and very well liked kid. My and Karyn’s hearts just were shocked that the community is so together in time of need.
i am sure that friends and famliy who were there were comforted to see the turn out, and hope that it will help heal the pain this has caused for all of us.

Thank you to all, and God bless….Brian Murray

In Loving Memory
Michael Hayden Manning
April 28, 1993 – April 20, 2009

Michael Hayden Manning was born April 28, 1993 in Lancaster, California. He relocated with his family to the Frazier Park area while still in elementary school. On the eve of his sixteenth birthday, on April 20, 2009, Michael was taken from this world in a tragic accident.
Michael attended Frazier Mountain High School where he was in the 10th grade. He was a loving son, grandson, brother, uncle and friend to many.

There is no doubt that in heaven Michael is ‘boarding’ whether it be skateboarding or snowboarding. Michael was an awesome BMX rider, spending many hours with his father going to competitions or pulling out a ramp at home to practice. He often showed younger kids how he did tricks and they remember how nice ‘the boy on the bike’ was. His nieces and nephews loved their Uncle Mike and of course he loved them.

Michael had a wonderful effervescent personality and made everyone feel special, even if they did not know him well. To those who did, there is a huge hole in their lives that cannot be closed.

Michael is survived by his loving parents Evelyn Diaz and Michael Manning, his brother Charles, sisters Cynthia and Jacinda, their spouses and children and his grandparents. He will be missed by his closest friends Shawn, Ryan, Robert, Nick and Jackson.
Michael made an impression on many, as witnessed by the huge turnout for an impromptu celebration of his life on Wednesday April 22 in the Pine Mountain Village gazebo, at the high school, at Frazier Mountain Park Skate Park and at the funeral service at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Sylmar on Monday, April 27.

Donations to help the family with funeral expenses can be made to Dorothy Manning (Trustee Account #12656006), at the California Credit Union, P.O. Box 29100, Glendale, CA 91209

This poem is for Mike & Evelyn Michael’s parents and everyone around the world. I never met Michael in person, only in pictures. Mike Manning, Michael’s dad, I call uncle Mike. I hadn’t seen Uncle Mike in 20 years, until the funeral. My heart is heavy and filled with sadness. I can’t believe this happened. My prayers and thoughts are with the family.

Jake & Kimmy
Sunland. Ca.

If I Knew

If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss, and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

For surely there’s always tomorrow to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance to make everything right.

There will always be another day to say our "I love you’s",
And certainly there’s another chance
to say our "Anything I can do’s?"

But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get,
I’d like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget,
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day,

That you didn’t take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear,
that you love them very much and you’ll always hold them dear.

Take time to say, "I’m sorry,"

"Please forgive me,"

"thank you," or "it’s okay".
And if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll have no regrets about today.

We love you,

Jake & Kimmy

A Momentary Bubble

Drifting on the breeze, fearless and fragile
floating along appearing solid and agile
was a captured breath within a thin veil
ephemeral beauty in a moment of eternity
a surface of ever-changing twisted light
a spectrum of color formed from pure white

In the world the time must pass
because what is held cannot last
a dance only lasts the length of a song
from when it was started it doesn’t seem long

No more could his form be held
a final breath the wind exhaled
the bubble burst, a broken shell
released from the skin that had captured him
now free he joined the breeze who once carried him

Cry not tears of sadness but of joy
for remember he was more than a boy
a moment of truth was reflected
a temporal moment of beauty projected
And from where he came he is returned
in his memory we have learned
what we keep is what we share
in his light remembered here

—Melissa Yoes, Pinon Pines
(I did not know Michael Manning, but am touched by those who did. He was loved).

This is part of the May 08, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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