James Craig and Susan O’Brien Mankin recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married November 21, 1962, at the Methodist church in Matewan. A dinner celebration was given by their children in honor of this occasion, at the Water Front Hotel in Morgantown with family and friends in attendance.
When ask to respond to questions about their life together, they reminiscence about being high school sweethearts at Magnolia High School in Matewan, where Mr. Mankin lettered in all sports, and Mrs. Mankin was in the band and a majorette. They graduated from high school in 1957.
After high school graduation, Mr. Mankin enrolled at WVU in the field of education. He was on the WVU baseball team from his freshman year through his senior year. While at WVU, he was the first freshman to hit a homerun over the fence at Hawley Field, and he remembers, fondly, of beating Florida State, in a game he pitched, in 1961 for the Regional NCAA tournament. Mr. Mankin graduated from WVU in 1962 with a B.S. Degree. He recalls a friend, Mickey Furfari, sent him a picture from the Dominion Post, of the graduating ceremony, which spotlighted Mr. Mankin. He later received his Master’s Degree in Administration.
While Mr. Mankin was at WVU, Mrs. Mankin was busy teaching and attending classes to pursue her degree in education. She graduated from Morris Harvey College in 1965, and later received her Master’s Degree from Marshall University. In 1963, Mr. Mankin obtained a job in the Logan County Schools, and in 1965, he brought his bride to the Logan/ Mingo County area, where they have remained.
They spent a large part of their lives teaching in Logan County. Through the years, Mr. Mankin was a biology and driver education teacher, Dean of Boys, Vice Principal, and when he retired in 1995, he was Principal of Man High School. Mrs. Mankin taught many years at Amherstdale Grade School, and she was teaching at Man Junior High School, when she retired in 1998.
Craig and Susan have two children. Their son, Craig, works for Gutman Oil in Morgantown, and their daughter, Jeana Susan, is a teacher with the Monongalia County Schools. She is married to Michael Atkinson, who is the pastor at Wesley Methodist Church in Morgantown.
Craig and Susan love to tell about their three beautiful granddaughters: Mikalea Susannae and Laura Rose Atkinson, and Casey Rene Mankin.
Craig and Susan live at Verner and also have a home in Myrtle Beach. S.C.
When ask what their secret was to a successful marriage, they replied “We are still sweethearts!”