A fourth-generation Citronellean, Manly Ray Patrick was born off of Patrick Road and grew up on the family farmstead where he familiarized himself with the local trees, creeks, fields, deer, and small game. His childhood involved hunting, fishing, climbing trees with his siblings and friends, and working on the family farm. Well-versed in the history and lore of his hometown, Manly enjoyed telling tales about some of the more infamous and obscure events in the town’s history. A proud graduate of the Citronelle schools, Manly was also an avid scholar of fields, forests, and fish. His dedication to mastering the arts of fishing and fruit trees may be unmatched in the annals of Citronelle.
Born to John Marvin and Sallie (McCray) Patrick on November 16, 1942, at his parents’ home in Citronelle, Alabama, he later built his own family’s home about 100 yards north of his birthplace. This is where, surrounded by his family, he passed away on October 27, 2023. He was 80 years old.
Upon graduation from Citronelle High School in 1960 Manly joined the United States Air Force to begin a 20-year military career that included serving in the Strategic Arms Command and the Air Force Global Weather Central. His service in the Air Force took him to bases in Kansas, Massachusetts, Hawaii, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Illinois. A war veteran, he served in Vietnam in 1966-1967. After retiring from the Air Force in 1981, he returned to Citronelle where he continued to serve his community for the next 20 years as a Citronelle Police Department dispatcher. During the 1980s he started his own business as a gunsmith. After retiring from the police department twice, he took a paper route with the Call News.
While stationed in Wichita, Kansas, he met the love of his life, Marilyn Newton, whom he quickly nicknamed “George.” They were married in 1964 and shared 55 years of marriage until her death in 2019.
Manly will be remembered for his kindness and generosity, often helping family and friends in need. A frequent shopper on Amazon.com, he left his family with bulk quantities of paper towels, breakfast drinks, and instant grits. He was a voracious reader of Western novels, a fan of classic country music, and a devoted viewer of cowboy movies and Family Feud.
Manly was utterly dedicated to his five children, Renee Patrick, April (Adam) Gomez, Esther (David Yntema) Patrick, Rebecca (Mike) O’Connor, and Jonathan (Michelle) Patrick, known to him as Punkin, Ape, Goob, Tadpole, and Bo-J. He cherished his role as Papa/Popo to Adam, Rey, and Ana Gomez; Ansley Patrick; Zane and Calvin Yntema; Audrey Kerr; and Anders, Eden, and Cohen Patrick whom he taught how to fish and drive his golf cart. He delighted in his great-grandchildren, Rey, Isaac, and Aurora Gomez. Left with decades of fond memories are his surviving siblings Blewett Patrick, Sallie McMillan, Jane (Charles) Walls, Ronald (Gloria) Patrick, and numerous nieces and nephews. The family is indebted to his neighbors, Mark and Cheri Ellison, and his housekeeper, Rachel Stanley, for all their help in recent years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn Patrick, his parents, and his siblings James Patrick, Harry Patrick, Juanita Bailey, Urcel Austin, John M. Patrick, Jr., Audrey Beebe, and Esther Beech.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31, at his home on Patrick Road with Bro. Willie Gray officiating. If you wish to honor his memory, donations may be sent to: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.