Mrs. Bea Manning, age 85 of Folkston’s Bullhead Bluff community, passed away on the evening of Thursday, January 5th, 2012 in her daughter’s home in Blackshear. Ga.
Mrs. Manning was born on November 29th, 1926 in Lakeland, Ga. She is the daughter of the late John Harris and Georgia Lee Grover Giddens. When she was a toddler, the stock market crashed causing The Great Depression, the most severe economic catastrophe the world has ever known. She grew up humbly in the fields of southern Georgia. After graduating in 1942, in the middle of World War II, she married had children and worked in a variety of professions. She witnessed the Korean War and by May of 1958, she married the late William Arthur Manning of Bullhead Bluff, Ga. During this time, she worked as a nurse at the Folkston Hospital through the 60’s and 70’s during the Vietnam War. A few years after the war was over, she retired from nursing and began a career with Camden County School System, which lasted until after the death of her beloved husband in 1996. She retired as a bus driver, after 20 years of service to Camden County, and touched the lives of countless students and faculty members.
Her life began before the Great Depression and lasted through 17 different presidents and 6 major wars. She watched Indians gain citizenship, the first automobiles on the road, the first man ever to walk on the moon, the Civil Rights movement and all of the history of the last century. She experienced many births, deaths, tragedies, celebrations and several serious health issues all while raising her children, some of her grandchildren and many others that she considered her own. She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a grandmother, a great and great-great grandmother, a friend, a true survivor, a provider, a teacher, a financial manager, a care taker, a beloved member in her community, and the most amazing cook in the world. She was a part of what is considered America’s Greatest Generation. “It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced”-Tom Brokaw. To those who knew her best, she was one of the greatest of the greats. She is and will remain the matriarch of her family. Her most glorious accomplishments and legacy is to that of her country, community, friends, and family, to whom she devoted her entire life.
Mrs. Manning is survived by her children, Willene Manning of Folkston, Debra (Gary) Hersey of Blackshear, Vivian (Walter) Jackson of San Antonio, Tx., Donnie (Yvette) White of Ocilla, William (Jolee) Manning of St. Augustine, Shane (Christine) Manning of Kingsland, John (Jill) Fender of Ray City and Darrell (Linda) Tomlinson of Valdosta; her sister, Juanita Allen of Lake Park, Ga.; over 30 grandchildren, nearly 20 great grandchildren, a great-great grandchild, and several nieces and nephews. Besides her parents, Mrs. Manning was preceded in death by her two daughters, Connie Ellis and Diane White.
Calling hours for Mrs. Manning will be from 6 to 8 PM, Saturday, January 7th, 2012 at the funeral home. Funeral services will be held graveside at 2 PM Sunday January 8th, 2012 in the Manning Cemetery at Bullhead Bluff with Pastor Bobby Russell presiding.
November 29, 1926 – January 5, 2012