Kathleen (Avilla) Manning 66, a 9th generation, proud resident of San Juan Bautista and a Donner Party Descendant, passed away peacefully among family and friends at her home on the Nyland Ranch on January 28, 2023
Kathleen was born on May 8, 1956, to Frank and Dorothy Avilla. Kathleen attended Notre Dame High School in Salinas and went on to study Animal Science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Kathleen married John “Tom” Manning and they returned to San Juan Bautista to run the Nyland Ranch together and raise their son Matthew.
Kathleen was well known for her sharp mind, quick wit, and long memory. Kathleen spent her early childhood years on Pearce Lane and in John Breen’s Adobe at the end of Nyland Drive. She demonstrated her ability to persevere repeatedly throughout her life. Kathleen overcame polio as an infant and did not allow her leg brace to hinder her accomplishments or spirit. She was an avid swimmer, a Girl Scout, a 4-H All Star, and an accomplished horsewoman.
Kathleen followed in the footsteps of her grandfather Arthur S. Nyland and her mother Dorothy in running the Nyland Ranch along with her husband Tom. Kathleen was known amongst her friends for her generosity. They shared many fond memories including trips to Bay Meadows to watch the Nyland cart horses race, summers spent swimming at the ranch, and many San Francisco Giants games.
Kathleen was predeceased in death by her husband John “Tom” Manning, her mother Mary “Dorothy” Nyland Avilla, her father Frank Avilla, and her brother Robert Avilla. She is survived by her son Matthew Manning.
Above all her life’s accomplishments, Kathleen’s greatest joy was being a fierce protector and a loving mother to her son.
Services will be held at the San Juan Mission on March 22, 2023, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, an organization Kathleen felt strongly about.