Bishop Thomas Manning, 79, missionary to Bolivia Bishop...

Deaths Elsewhere

November 12, 2001

Bishop Thomas Manning, 79, missionary to Bolivia

Bishop Thomas R. Manning, a Baltimore-born Franciscan priest and retired missionary, died Friday of hemorrhaging at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y. He was 79.

Bishop Manning was a longtime missionary in Bolivia, where he built a flourishing diocese in Coroico. He started a seminary for native clergy and went on to see one of his priests become his successor as bishop of the Coroico diocese.

"He had a great love for the Bolivian people and for the church," said the Rev. Denis Clark, director of the Franciscan Mission Office for the Holy Name Province, and a close friend who will deliver the eulogy for Bishop Manning.

He said Bishop Manning spoke fluent Spanish and two indigenous local dialects.

Bishop Manning was known locally by many priests, some of whom met him through his visits to family, his work with a Massachusetts diocese and fund raising for the Coroico diocese.

"He had a golden humility," said the Rev. Michael Roach, pastor of St. Bartholomew's Roman Catholic Church, who said Bishop Manning's strength lay not in being an outsider trying to control native Bolivians, but in teaching local people to take leadership roles in the church.

The Baltimore native was the son of Robert P. and Mary P. Manning. He graduated from Mount St. Joseph High School and was received into the Franciscan order at Paterson, N.J., in 1942. He was ordained a priest in 1948.

He went to Bolivia in 1957 with seven other Franciscans of the Holy Name Province to establish a mission at La Paz. Two years later, he was consecrated bishop of Coroico.

He resigned as bishop in 1996 because of health problems.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 4 p.m. tomorrow at St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church, 63 Bartholdi Ave., in Butler, N.J.

He is survived by four sisters, Margaret Renehan of Baltimore; Ann Cashen and Elizabeth Heinmuller, both of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Sister Catherine Manning of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Baltimore. A brother, James Manning, died in 1968.

Marilyn Wilson Obrecht, 71, community volunteer

Marilyn Wilson Obrecht of Lutherville, a longtime community volunteer, died Friday of myelofibrosis, a blood disorder, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was 71.

She was a longtime volunteer at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

"First and foremost, Marilyn loved her family," said her husband of 53 years, P. Fred Obrecht Sr., a real estate developer. "She was the glue."

He said Mrs. Obrecht made the family home a gathering place for all significant occasions in her children's lives, and enjoyed planning and overseeing the festivities.

"Everything she did, she did with elegance and grace," said Peggy Obrecht of Roland Park, a sister-in-law. "She was so very tuned in to children."

An avid gardener, she served as president of Lake Roland Garden Club.

She also was an enthusiastic golfer who enjoyed playing on courses wherever she traveled. She was a member of the Women's Golf Association.

She held memberships at Baltimore Country Club, Green Spring Valley Hunt Club and Indian Creek Country Club in Indian Creek Village, Fla.

"She didn't like competition, but she loved golf," said Brooke Wagner of Owings Mills, a friend.

A Baltimore native, she grew up in Green Spring Valley, where she raised dogs, cats and chickens, and became an accomplished horseback rider.

She graduated from Garrison Forest School and was married a year later.

She learned to speak Spanish in her 60s, taking classes while she and her husband spent winters in Florida.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, 232 St. Thomas Lane in Garrison, where, 50 years earlier, she sang in the choir.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by four sons, Paul F. Obrecht Jr., George F. Obrecht, Thomas F. Obrecht and Richard F. Obrecht, all of Baltimore; a daughter, Susan O. Riehl of Baltimore; a brother, Charles A. Wilson of St. Michaels; a sister, Lois Wells of Timonium; 13 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Myeloproliferative Disease Research Fund, c/o Hematology Division, Ross 1025, 720 Rutland Ave., Baltimore 21205.

Elsewhere

Marguerite Thompson-Webb, 86, a civil rights activist who helped open a store to serve blacks during a 1960s boycott of white-owned businesses, died of natural causes Wednesday in Port Gibson, Miss.

Ms. Thompson-Webb was president of Port Gibson's Our Mart when it opened in 1967, when a boycott of white-owned businesses had been in effect for a year.

In 1969, the white business owners sued the NAACP and boycott participants. The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled they were liable for damages the white-owned businesses suffered from 1967 to 1972, but the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the decision in 1982.

Warren Elliott Henry, 92, a scientist who in a long career in government and academia made significant contributions to the fields of radar technology, physical properties of materials and physics education, died Oct. 31 in Washington.

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