William Shakespeare wrote "all the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances." Our Celebrant entered the stage of life on the 22nd of March in 1936, in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Her parents Richard and Ethel Manning named her Lurline Carmen. At the very outset of life, she displayed signs of remarkable intelligence so much so that at age 2 ½ she was placed in the same kindergarten class at the Morais Early Childhood school with her older sister Sylvia, who was starting school at age 4. Carmen continued her elementary education at the prestigious St George's Girls School in Kingston, Jamaica, as did her sisters Sylvia, Dorothy, and Marjorie.
At the age of 13, she was baptized at the North Street Seventh-day Adventist Church where she was a member of the youth choir, the singing band, and frequently sang duets with her sister Sylvia. They were known as the "Manning Sisters." She was a very active member of the Missionary Volunteer Society (now AYM). Carmen was determined to receive a Christian education and therefore refused to go to any school besides the SDA School, Kingsway High School, with her best friend Judith Peterson. Here she was successful in the Senior Cambridge Overseas Examination. Her first place of employment was at the Registrar of Titles Office in Jamaica where she was employed as a typist. Carmen was a very adventurous, strong-willed individual, with a strong faith and was not afraid to tackle what seemed like impossible tasks. She was friendly and outgoing and kept contact with friends and family.
In 1958 she left Jamaica to attend Pacific University in Portland, Oregon in the United States, and later transferred to Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Nutrition and minoring in Chemistry. She started her work career in the United States as a dietician at Brookdale Hospital Center in Brooklyn N.Y. Carmen later earned a Master of Public Health Administration degree from Post University, in New York, at age 50.
In 1964 she was married to Simmonds McPherson and from this union her two sons, Craig and Dave were born. The family moved from Brooklyn to Queens, New York, where Carmen transferred her membership from the Hanson Place SDA Church to the Linden SDA Church. She was a very active member of Linden. She sang on the Sanctuary Choir, served as Sabbath School Superintendent, Head Clerk, and was a part of the Family Life Department. Outside of church Carmen's athletic hobbies through life included roller-skating, bowling, and a bit of tennis. She also showed entrepreneurial skills as a Copper Craft and Bestline Products sales Rep. She was also skilled in crocheting, embroidery, sewing, and knitting. Often family members were recipients of her handmade gifts at Christmastime. After living in Queens, Carmen was able to buy that big yellow house in Freeport, New York.
Carmen worked as a Social Worker and after more than 30 years, Carmen retired as a manager from the Administration for Children's Services of the City of New York.
Carmen had a life-long dream of becoming a missionary and upon retirement she accepted the challenge of joining the U.S. Peace Corps and served in Namibia, Southern Africa for two years. UNICEF then offered her a position and she continued in Southern Africa for another two years. Carmen remained active in the church even while in Southern Africa. She was instrumental in assisting church members in Namibia who were worshipping in a garage, to purchase property for a new church home. Carmen solicited donations for this church from family and friends in the U.S.
Upon returning to the U.S. Carmen relocated from New York to Errol Estate in Apopka, Florida where she joined some lifelong friends as a neighbor. She enjoyed decorating and entertaining in her new retirement home. Carmen became a member of the North Orlando SDA Church. She looked forward to her daily early morning devotions and joined many prayer warriors at 5:00 a.m. each day. Her strong prayer life sustained her through the many challenges she faced over the years. Due to failing health and the COVID-19 pandemic her sons thought it best to have her spend time in Georgia with her son Craig, his wife Wanda, and her grandchildren, Carmen, and Joshua. During this time her grandchildren were her special delight.
Carmen showed her fierce strength through her last years as she managed her declining health. Finally, after numerous hospitalizations and rehabilitations, Carmen entered hospice and was able to peacefully fall asleep in Christ on the morning of November 18, 2021. As was her desire, she was surrounded by her sons, her daughter-in-law, and her sisters for her final moments. She was pre-deceased by her parents and her brother Winston Manning. Carmen is survived by her son, Craig and his wife Wanda; her son Dave; her sisters Sylvia, Dorothy, and Marjorie; her grandchildren Carmen and Joshua; her nieces Donna, Nicolette, and Alisha; her nephews Dwayne, Rodney, Richard, and Omar; a vast host of cousins; and friends around the world. Carmen loved her family and friends and helped many in ways that were only known to the individuals. Carmen was a confidant and counselor to many and was a source of strength and encouragement to all. She will also be remembered for her special love of fancy and stylish hats.
Rest peacefully our dear Mom, Sister, Grandma, Aunt Carms, Cousin, and Friend. We love you.