Halford Ernest Maninger passed away peacefully at his home in Pacific Palisades on Aug. 9.
“Hal,” or “H,” was born in 1926 on a farm in Harper, Kansas. In 1943, he joined the Navy’s V-12 program at Pittsburgh’s Teacher’s College. He transferred to Notre Dame and graduated from the Naval Academy (with distinction) in the Class of 1949. He first served as an ensign on the Gearing-class destroyer, Stickell (DD-888).
Hal saw combat during the Korean War and attended Submarine School in New London, Connecticut, after which, he was assigned to the Gato-class submarine, Grouper (SSK-214).
On July 14, 1951, Hal gave a tour of the submarine base to a young girl named Jean Moody, whom he asked on a date that day. They were married six months later, and over the next few years, Jean followed Hal on various assignments: Officer’s Electronics School on Treasure Island, California; the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard; and back to New London, where their first child was born.
In 1954, Hal left the Navy as a lieutenant junior grade to join Butler Manufacturing Company in Kansas City, Missouri, then New York, before joining Northrop Corporation in 1956 in Los Angeles—having one child in each city.
Hal was deeply dedicated to Northrop, rising from an electronics engineer into long-range planning and advanced systems marketing for the Aircraft Division. He considered his contribution toward winning the contract to design and build the B-2 Stealth Bomber to be the highlight of his career.
Hal balanced his work with loving devotion to his family, which settled in the seaside suburb of Pacific Palisades. He was active with Indian Guides, Boy Scouts and local baseball.
Hal retired in 1991 and became active in the Optimist Club, where he served as vice president and was elected co-Citizen of the Year in 1996 for his efforts to beautify Swarthmore Avenue.
Hal is remembered for his tireless optimism, endless aphorisms and his love for golf—which was almost as great as his humbling handicap at his favorite course, Pen Mar.
He is survived by his sisters, Ruth and Amy; his wife, Jean; their children, Jill, Linda, John and Sarah “Sal”; and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother, Warren, and sister, Betty.
Private family services were held at St. Matthew’s Church in Pacific Palisades.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Palisades Optimist Club, P.O. Box 211, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.
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