We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, Arnold Manuel, who passed away on Saturday, May 20, 2023. Affectionately called “Noir,” Arnold’s stature, megawatt smile, baritone voice, and infectious laugh-filled and lit every room he graced. A skilled tailor by profession, Arnold always looked the part at social gatherings, donning the finest threads and his signature hat. Yet, his outer grandeur was tempered with a deep sense of humility, a confidence and peace in the work God had done in his life and that of his family.
On March 23, 1933, while the world was in the throes of the Great Depression and experiencing many threats of instability, Arnold Manuel was born in the coastal town of Port-Salut, Haiti to Alocta and Anasia Manuel. Arnold was the youngest of their 11 children, making their family complete. He was determined to not let his circumstances define him, instead pursuing his education and developing a strong work ethic, building the foundation for a successful future–one in which he, his loved ones, and even his community would not lack for anything.
Arnold Manuel found a lifelong, loving partner in Labertha. If we could quantify their love and its fruits, we would examine the facts: Arnold and Labertha enjoyed over six decades sharing the joy of marital bliss. They welcomed four children into the world and their spouses into the family, Marie Oseva and husband Duckens Chery, Marie Dady, Marc and wife Michelle Manuel, Serge and wife Magalie Manuel of whom they are very proud of, and each has become successful. Arnold’s descendants include seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
In 1974, Arnold immigrated to the USA alone with the goal of creating a better future for his family. He worked multiple jobs and saved a significant portion of his earnings. In just one year, Arnold successfully brought his entire family to Boston, Massachusetts. Both Arnold and his wife Labertha worked hard and made sacrifices to ensure their family's well-being and success, not only to meet their basic needs but also to enable them to prosper.
Arnold Manuel was our hero. If you get to know his children and grandchildren, you will meet: Engineers, educators, accountants, managers, leaders, entrepreneurs, and rising young professionals.
Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins within a tight-knit, loving family. If it were not for Arnold, for his discernment of the voice of God, for his boldness in going after his dreams, for his unshakeable hope of a better future, for his wisdom in making choices that would benefit his family long-term–there would not be a hero in the Manuel family story.
While most of us were dreaming or hitting the snooze button on our alarm, Arnold was already up, reading his well-worn Bible, praying, and singing hymns to God. A devout believer and worshipper in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Arnold not only worshiped God with his church community but also privately in his home every morning and throughout the day. He instilled his spiritual values into his children, bringing them to church, regularly reading the Scriptures to them, and sometimes debating the tenets of the faith with them. He lived out his values, treating everyone with respect, kindness, and dignity while honoring God in everything he did.
Arnold’s earthly journey has now become a heavenly one. While we miss not being able to hug him, shake his hand, hear his voice and his singing, get his advice, and to be in his presence, we keep a candle lit for him in our minds, our hearts, and our spirits, reminiscing on the memories we shared, the love we partook in, the joy he brought to us. We thank God for the gift Arnold was to us. Over time, we will seek to continue to make him proud, living lives of faith, hope, and most of all, unconditional love–the kind of love Arnold gave to us.
He is survived by his Loving Spouse Labertha Manuel, Children: Marie Oseva Chery, Marie Dady Manuel, Marc Manuel, & Serge Manuel. Grand Children: Earl Duckens Chery, Derrick Chery, Alexander James Chery, Chantasia Manuel, Jordan Manuel, Isaiah Manuel, & Xavier Manuel. Great Grand Children: Jordan Zamir Chery, Idris Zacari Chery, Lincoln James Chery, Tatum Jones Chery, Malia Rose Chery.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Friday, May 26, 2023 at 11:00 am in the chapel of Byrd & Flanigan Funeral Service in Lawrenceville GA. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday from 9:00 am until time of service.
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