James Manley Denton Sr. passed away peacefully in Little Rock, Arkansas on May 21. He was born to Eva Faye Bush Denton and Freeman Denton on November 11, 1940.
Manley grew up in Merkel, Texas and that is where he developed his lifelong love of music and sports. You could find Manley leading singing at Church when he was 13 years old! Manley graduated from Merkel High School as an accomplished athlete, a Texas All State football player, a baseball state champion, an all-region basketball player, and was part of the state championship mile relay team in track. Upon graduation Manley played college football at Abilene Christian University (lettered as a freshman) and McMurry University. He graduated with a degree in business majoring in Marketing from McMurry University. While in college, Manley married his high school sweetheart Linda Winter on February 4, 1960.
After graduating from college, Manley’s love for people and developing relationships led him to the Insurance industry where he worked for more than 45 years serving in executive leadership positions and on the Board of Directors for several prominent companies. Outside of work, Manley was deeply involved in the community. Manley was known as “Coach” to many and loved coaching and supporting youth sports with positive energy and encouragement! Manley’s grandchildren also chose to call him “Coach”. Manley enjoyed watching his 11 grandchildren compete in sports, band or dance and logged many miles and hours over the years to be there to support them. Manley was always an active Church Member and loved leading singing. He also served as an Elder at Riverchase Church of Christ in Birmingham, AL. Later in life, Manley found great joy singing Bass for the San Antonio Master Singers who performed with the San Antonio Symphony and was able to sing in Carnegie Hall. Manley also enjoyed serving on the Texas Silver Haired Legislature. Manley also served on the board of directors for Disabilities Resource Inc., an organization committed to helping adults with mental disabilities function and work with dignity as they grow older.
Manley is survived by his wife Linda Denton, brother Kent(Marlene) Denton, and children Manley (Leah Ann) Denton, Laurie (Jeff) Lee, Norman (Sue) Denton, and Lisa Denton; grandchildren, Anna(Gabe) Cox, Levi(Madison) Denton, Marshall Denton, Jeffrey(Casey) Lee, Courtney Lee, Caroline(TJ) Burnett, Jack Lee, Parker Denton, Sam Denton, Luke Denton, Jack Denton; and great-grandchildren, Gabrianna and Copeland Cox.
Our beloved husband, Father, and Coach will be deeply missed; but we know he is at peace in heaven, singing with the angels and as he always said, feeling happy, healthy, and terrific!
A funeral service will be held to celebrate Manley on Friday, June 4, 2021 at 2PM, at Merkel Church of Christ under the direction of Starbuck Funeral Home.
Charitable contributions in Manley’s memory may be made to Disabilities Resources Inc in Abilene, Texas.
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