Louis E. Manter, Jr, of Portland, a retired U. S. Marine Corps Master Sergeant, died on October 18th, 2018 in Portland, Maine. He was 92 years old. He was born November 28, 1925, the son of Louis E. and Georgina (Guay) Manter. He grew up in Scarborough, graduating from Scarborough High School in 1943. He served an impressive 21 years in the US Military, serving in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
After high school he enlisted in the U. S. Navy. He completed the Aviation Ordnance course, Naval Air Gunners School and Combat Aircrew training. He served as a turret gunner aboard a PBM Patrol bomber in the Pacific, seeing action in the Philippines during World War II.
After the war he received an honorable discharge from the Navy and attended Northeastern School of Accounting in Portland and was employed as a bookkeeper. In 1949 he was one of the first stock car drivers to race at the newly opened Beech Ridge Speedway in Scarborough, where he drove a supercharged 1937 Cord throughout the first season of operation. When the Korean War broke out in 1950, the Marine Corps Reserve unit (18th Engineer Company) was activated and sent to the U, S. Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where it was integrated into the 2nd Marine Division.
With no billets available for air gunners or aviation ordnance men at that time, he requested to be retrained in the field of automotive maintenance & repair course at the Marine Corps School at Camp Lejeune. Upon successful completion of that course, Mr. Manter decided to make the Marine Corps his career.
During the ensuing years his assignments included three separate tours of duty at Camp Lejeune, N.C., the U. S. Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, N.C, Instructor Duty at the Marine Corps Reserve Training Centers in Portland, Maine and Cleveland, Ohio, where he taught Marine Reservists automotive maintenance and repair. During the latter part of the Korean War, Sergeant Manter served in 3rd Marine Division. Within a month of activation, the division was on the high seas aboard troop transport ships sailing to the Far East.
In later years, he was assigned to the Marine Corps Recruiting Office in Malone, New York, where he served a four-year tour of duty meeting his quota every month. He served an additional tour of duty later on with the 3rd Marine Division, which was located in Japan. His final tour of duty was in South Vietnam, where he served as First Sergeant of “C” Company, 7th Motor Transport Battalion, Force Logistic Command, at Phu Bai.
Upon his return to the United States in 1968, he retired from the Marine Corps. During his military career he was a parachutist with a Jumpmaster designation, an Expert Rifleman and a Pistol Sharpshooter, earning medals for his expertise in both divisions. He earned numerous medals and awards throughout his 21 years of military service. Notable among those were the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with five stars.
In 1959 while serving on recruiting duty, he invented an oil condition indicator, an automotive dashboard instrument which allows a motor vehicle operator to monitor the cleanliness of the engine oil during operation.
After his retirement from the Marine Corps, he was employed in management at Yerxas. He then operated his own mobile home rental business in Old Orchard Beach; following that he opened his own painting business. Seven years after his 2nd retirement he worked doing loan closings throughout Maine for a nationwide financial organization. He worked for 12 years before retiring for the 3rd and final time.
He also served 16 years as Cumberland County Bail Commissioner, until his second retirement in 1991. Mr. Manter was a Justice of the Peace, a Dedimus Justice and a Notary Public. In his capacity as a Justice of the Peace, he united more than 3,000 couples in marriage, over a span of 40 years.
He was an avid cribbage player, being a past member of the Cumberland County Cribbage Club and was a current member of the Waterboro Cribbage Club. He was also a charter member of the American Cribbage Congress. He played in various cribbage tournaments around the country and had been awarded several trophies attesting to his expertise at the game. He also enjoyed antiques and antique restoration. He was a member of MENSA and the Marine Corps Association. On November 28, 2005, his 80th birthday, he made a final parachute jump in Lebanon, Maine, his 115th jump.
He was a Bible-believing Christian and a man of high moral integrity. As a family-oriented man, his greatest enjoyment in life was raising his daughters to adulthood. He felt that the greatest gift that God can bestow upon a married couple is that of children and the privilege of raising them. He had a large circle of friends and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. He was predeceased by his parents and a daughter, Debra Manter Creighton. He is survived by his daughter Sharon Manter and grandson Elijah Philbrick of Portland with whom he was especially close. Also survived by daughters Sherri Cote and Susan Kunkel. Funeral arrangements will be private, with full military honors. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.