On Friday, December 4, 2020, Luther B. Manuel Jr., a devoted husband, father, employee and devout Muslim, passed away at age 71.
Luther was born on October 30, 1949 in Brooklyn, New York to Luther Sr. and Dorothy (Dag/ow) Manuel. Throughout his childhood, Luther was faced with many challenging situations that only served to foster resiliency and character, which ultimately provided him with a foundation to persevere and wage forward in the face of adversity. He was one of six children born from the union of his parents and had a strong affection for his siblings. Luther was viewed as a provider, protector, and nurturer among his brothers and sisters. His father, mother, older sister Lauren, younger sister l'vonne, and younger brothers James and Karim preceded Luther in death.
Luther grew up in Jersey City, NJ and graduated from Henry Snyder High School. Upon graduating high school, Luther was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to attend Rutgers University. However, he realized that his true calling in life was working for the United States Postal Service. Luther began his career at the USPS in 1972 and continued to work there for 41 years. During his tenure with the postal service he transitioned from mail clerk to supervisor at the Dominick V. Daniels (DVD) facility located in Kearny, NJ. Luther took great pride in his work as a postal employee and this role was an integral part of his life. He mentored hundreds of employees over the course of his career as a supervisor. At the local and national level, Luther was well known and highly revered for his involvement in the National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS). He served as the President of NAPS Branch 548 for more than 30 years and was the longest serving president at the DVD facility. Up until the time of his death, Luther served as Vice President for Branch 548. Additionally, he was the NAPS Parliamentarian for the state of NJ. Luther retired from the USPS in 2013 leaving a tremendous impact and legacy that inspired many of his colleagues. After his retirement he remained involved in the NAPS organization as a union representative with an impressive record for winning all of his cases. The USPS was near and dear to his heart.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Luther took great pride in his family. His eldest child, Desmond Stevens was born on July 29, 1971. Luther married Gertrude Fuller, whom he affectionately referred to as the "love of his life" on April 17, 1976. From this union, two daughters were born- Khalidah Manuel (born February 9, 1978) and Aishah Manuel-Ebanks (born April 17, 1981). In addition to his biological children, Luther served as a surrogate father to his niece Stephanie Haywood and other nephews and nieces. Luther exuded a fun-loving yet tenacious spirit. He was a strong source of support, guidance, and encouragement for his wife, children, and relatives. Luther loved spending time with his children and grandchildren whom he adored.
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