G. Wesley Manuel, Jr. passed away surrounded by loved ones on June 23, 2022, in Stuart Florida. Wesley was born on August 8, 1934 in Philadelphia, PA to George Wesley Manuel, Sr., and Gwendolyn (nee Roberts) and spent his life in various South Jersey localities before settling into Moorestown, where he grew up and later returned to raise his own family. Wesley graduated from Moorestown Friends School (1952), Bucknell University (Sigma Chi Fraternity), and University of Pennsylvania School of Law (1961).
While completing his legal studies, Wesley worked in the automobile business buying and selling wholesale for a prominent area dealer. His sideline with cars indulged Wes’ interest in all things mechanical, while laying a foundation for a career as a trial attorney, focusing on automotive and industrial products liability as well as catastrophic automobile accidents, and medical malpractice. His interests in engines also led him to be legal counsel for several prominent boat manufacturers.
Wes spent over thirty years practicing law at the firm of Kisselman, Devine, Deighan & Montano, where he retired with his “name on the door” as President of the Firm (1988) Montano, Summers, Mullen, Manuel & Owens. Wes tried hundreds of cases to verdict in state and federal court and – despite the adversarial and contentious nature of his business – was widely regarded as an honest and soft spoken gentleman who earned the respect of opponents, judges and clients alike with his mastery of the law, and the complexities of cases that spent weeks in front of a jury. He was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
A direct descendant of Timothy Matlack, an officer under General George Washington who served in the Continental Congress and was the scrivener of the original Declaration of Independence, Wes was a passionate reader of military and government history. But Wes’s life passion was boating and fishing, where he spent countless weekends trolling the Atlantic Ocean canyons for tuna, marlin, swordfish and other large game. He enjoyed piloting the Desert Rose out to sea or down the intercoastal waterway to Florida or the Bahamas.
All these activities, including his summer home in Ocean City New Jersey, placed Wes happily in the constant company of his family, including his late wife Rosalie (nee Leyva), his daughter Jill and son Gerald, and a legacy of German Shepherds: Kaiser, Rommel, Blitzen, Dixie, Lucy and Toby, who filled his heart with countless memories. Wes also leaves behind a son-in-law, John Coughlin, daughter-in- law Amy Manuel (Shapero) and five grandchildren, Kendall Coughlin (25), Ryan Coughlin (22), Megan Rose Manuel (22), Leah Manuel (21) and Erin Rose Coughlin (16). Wes is also survived by his longtime companion, Beverly Geiger, of Palm City, Florida.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 AM on October 15, 2022 at the Medford Friends Meeting House at 14 Union Street, Medford, NJ 08055.
Posted online on September 14, 2022
Published in Burlington County Times
Celebration of Life
Medford Friends Meeting House at 14 Union Street, Medford, NJ 08055.
September 15, 2022 at 11:00 AM