Obituary of James Michael Manuel
James “Mickey” Manuel (63) resident of Orofino, ID passed away on April 10, 2023, at Valley Vista Care Center in St. Maries, ID. He was born to Henry Manuel and Patricia Dotson on December 28, 1959, in Vicksburg, MS. Mickey grew up in the Vicksburg area. When he left high school, he ended up going to work with his dad and brother for the city. Mickey ran heavy equipment digging ditches and replacing pipes along the highways. He then found himself working as a Grave Digger in the cemetery, a job he didn’t mind and was very good at.
After several years in Mississippi, Mickey relocated to Missoula, MT. It was there he became reacquainted with Tracia Young, and the couple started dating. Mickey went to work at a glass shop making and framing windows. He then went to work at Vans, one of the local furniture and appliance stores. He spent 8 years at that job before he and Tracia moved back to Mississippi. Mickey was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease in 2013 and was forced into quitting work due to his disability. In June 2020, Mickey and Tracia moved to Orofino, ID so Tracia could take care of her mother along with Mickey. The couple made it official after 14 years together, marrying on September 1, 2020, in Orofino.
Mickey enjoyed camping, fishing, and spending time outdoors. He specifically enjoyed duck hunting in Montana and was proud of his 2 trophy bucks, one in Montana and the other in the Delta of Mississippi. John Thomas of Boton, MS was his best friend and hunting buddy. When Mickey was unable to hunt due to his Huntington’s, he acquired a disability permit to hunt so he could still enjoy his favorite sport. Many memories were made at the rivers and lakes in Mississippi boating, swimming, floating, and hanging out with friends. Mickey also enjoyed collecting coins and was proud of his state coin collection. When life started to become difficult, and Mickey couldn’t spend the time outdoors he used to, he found joy in playing games on his Play Station and the computer. In October of 2022, Mickey had to relocate to St. Maries, ID where he was a resident at Valley Vista Care Center until the Lord called him home.
Mickey is survived by his wife Tracia at their home in Orofino, ID; son Michael Manuel of Vicksburg, MS; stepchildren DJ Powers of Seattle, WA, Timothy (Amber) Powers of Seattle, WA, and Kristina Powers of Orofino, ID; siblings Rusty (Paula) Gardner of Vicksburg, MS, Donnie (Tammy) Gardner of Vicksburg, MS, and Debra (Brian) Harnar of Downsville, LA; and 10 grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents Thomas and Patricia Gardner and brother Doug Manuel.
A Memorial Service will be on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 11:00 am at the Cross Connection Church in Orofino, ID. A gathering of family and friends to share a meal will follow at the church.