Patricia Ashford Manley was born in 1945 in Ann Arbor, and she was raised by her mother. She remembers attending Jones Elementary School and trying out for cheerleading at Ann Arbor High School. Manley graduated from Western Michigan University in 1970 and later earned her master’s in counseling from Eastern Michigan University. She worked as a teacher, cheerleading coach, and guidance counselor at Huron High School for thirty-one years, and was principal of Thurston Elementary School for ten years. She and her husband Lamont Manley enjoy traveling and going to concerts together. They have been married for 43 years.