Marion Mahony Manning, 95, a resident of Crosslands, Kennett Square, PA died peacefully of natural causes with her family nearby on November 17, 2010.Born October 27, 1915 in Wilmington Delaware, she was the daughter of Leslie Perkins and Mary (Poole) Mahony.Marion was the sister of Adelaide Mahony Dillon and Leslie Perkins Mahony. For twelve years she attended Tower Hill School, graduating in 1933 with the first class to go through the entire program there. Marion graduated from Skidmore College, took graduate courses at Smith College, studied modern dance in California, and taught physical education at Knox School. In 1942 she married Robert Jack Manning, with whom she raised five children and shared many happy times and travels. Marion was primarily a homemaker, but for 13 years worked as a guide at Longwood Gardens and for many years was also a guide at the Brandywine River Museum. Having lived in and around Chadds Ford, PA for decades she seemed to know everybody. Many Museum goers will remember her behind–the-scene descriptions of the people and places in the paintings. Marion was the niece of Howard Pyle. She recalled sitting with rapt attention on her Aunt Anne Pyle’s lap while she read to her Howard Pyle’s book, The Garden Behind the Moon. It was Marion’s favorite story. Pyle made up the tale for his children to explain the loss of their sibling to a childhood disease. It is the story of a young boy, believing in miracles, who follows a moonbeam to beautiful gardens and trials by fire on the Moon and then returns to Earth unrecognizable as a grown man. Friends and family were amazed by Marion’s recall of who married whom and where they lived during the early and mid-Twentieth Century heyday of the DuPont Company, where both her father and husband worked. She was generous with local and world-wide charities, delighted in nature and was an avid bird watcher. Marion and Jack visited every continent and dozens of countries in search of bird species to add to their life lists, which eventually numbered over 1500. One memorable tour was of the Galapagos Islands with Field Guide to the Birds author Roger Tory Peterson. Marion, Jack and their children donated to the Brandywine Conservancy the development rights for their Denton Hollow farm, ensuring that a beautiful part of the Pocopson Valley remains as open space. Marion was predeceased by her oldest son Robert Bruce Manning, her husband Robert Jack Manning, and her brother and sister. After Jack passed away on Nov 14, 1998 she sorely missed his company. She is survived by children Thomas Cowan Manning and his wife Eleanor Spackman Alden; John Leslie Manning, his wife Victoria Lieberman Manning and children Nathaniel Poole Manning and Maya Victoria Manning; Sarah Catherine (Manning) Kane, her husband David Kane and children Elizabeth Ann (Kane) Wunderler and her husband Jeffrey Wunderler, Catherine Ashley Kane, and Michael Bruce Kane; Christopher Fitz Randolph Manning, his wife Sarah Beckley (Miller) Manning and children Bruce Denton Manning and William Beckley Manning; and her niece Faith Dillon Hentschel. The family wishes to thank the Crosslands staff and friends who cared for Mom. A private family graveside service is planned. They suggest that contributions in Marion Manning’s honor be made to the Brandywine Conservancy or the Brandywine River Museum, P.O. Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA 19317.