Virginia Cleveland McManus passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on May 25th, 2021, just short of her 103rd birthday. Virginia was born in Gardner Massachusetts in 1918. She was a descendant of those that came to America on the Mayflower as well as a daughter of the American Revolution. She grew up with her father William Alvin Cleveland Sr., her mother Ethel Maude Lackey Cleveland, and her brother William Alvin Cleveland Jr. She worked in a munition’s factory in Boston during WWII, first as a secretary until they found she could not take diction. She was born left-handed, but they made her switch to her right hand in grade school and as a result, you could never read her writing from either hand. So they made her a heavy machine operator on the factory floor instead.
She was married to her first husband Ed Rist for over 25 years, during which she operated a small hotel in Rye Beach New Hampshire, accompanied by her collie Buff. After the marriage ended, she moved down to South Florida on her own in 1960. She worked as the property manager for Coral Ridge Towers where she met our father, James Joseph McManus. She and James married in 1966 and she became mother to his children. She worked with James at McManus Insurance Agency for more than 30 years and survived him when he passed in 1993. They traveled all over the world including one trip upon retirement that literally took them around the world for four months.
Virginia was intelligent, loving, patient and kind. She accepted everyone as they were and always provided unconditional love and support. As our father would say, she knew more about the insurance business and life than he ever would.
She is survived by her children, Robert William McManus, his wife Bonnie, and Anne McManus-Castro and her husband Oscar. She is also survived by her nieces Jan Cleveland Sheehan, Deborah Cleveland Huntley and Ben Cleveland as well as many grandchildren and grand nieces and nephews.
Virginia was always ahead of her time, fiercely independent, confident and was able to positively impact everyone she came into contact with during her lifetime. She will be missed by all, but not forgotten by any!
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