Ima Lee Mann, age 78, formerly of Houston, Texas passed away on March 30, 2013 in Wharton, Texas after an extended illness. She was married to Frank E. Mann, Jr. D.V.M. for 57 years. Ima Lee was born on May 7, 1934 in Camden, Texas, daughter of Carl Rivers Smith and Allene Dolores Smith. Shortly thereafter the family moved to Houston, Texas where Ima Lee attended Jefferson Davis High School and graduated in 1952. She attended Sam Houston State Teacher's College in Huntsville, Texas and graduated in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics. While in college she was active in the Acapella Choir and a member of the Philomathean sorority. Her sorority later evolved to become the national sorority of Zeta Tau Alpha. Ima Lee cherished her friendships with her Philo sisters and attended luncheons and weekend gatherings with her sorority sisters throughout her life.
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Ima Lee met Frank E. Mann, Jr. in Junior High School in Houston, Texas. They were high school sweethearts and their romance continued through their years in college. They married on August 27, 1955 and resided in College Station while Frank attended Texas A&M University Veterinary School in College Station, Texas. Ima Lee got her first job as a Home Economics teacher in Normangee, Texas and supported the family while Frank continued his degree at Texas A&M University. She and Frank had their first child, Frank E. Mann III in 1957 in Bryan, Texas. The family moved to Wharton, Texas where Ima Lee worked as a teacher in Home Economics and then as the Dietician for Wharton Independent School District. A second son, Garland R. Mann, was born in Wharton in 1961. She has two grandchildren, Hannah Elizabeth Mann and Stephen Carl Mann.
Ima Lee was active in the First Baptist Church of Wharton, Texas as a Sunday school teacher, Choir Member and volunteered in many church programs. She and her family were active in and supported many community activities. She enjoyed many friendships, but especially her lady friends in her bridge club, sewing club and Sunday school class. She was a charter member of the Wharton County Republican Women's Club and was active in Republican Party politics. She hosted former First Lady Barbara Bush during her husband George H. W. Bush's first run for the United States House of Representatives. She also hosted Texas Republican Bill and Anita Clements at her home in Wharton, Texas.
Her strong Christian faith sustained her throughout her life and was evident in every part of her life. Ima Lee was a talented lady who had many interests that included teaching, sewing, playing the piano and singing in the church choir. She could have excelled in many professional areas but chose to be a homemaker, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and devoted friend. She chose to support her husband in all of his entrepreneurial pursuits and in his practice of veterinary medicine of over 50 years. Her family could always depend on her unconditional love and support. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family, especially, her grandchildren. Words cannot express how much she will be missed.
She is survived by her husband Frank E. Mann, Jr. D.V.M. of Wharton, Texas, son, Frank E. Mann III, and grandson Stephen Carl Mann of Houston, Texas, son Garland R. Mann and wife Jennifer Mann and granddaughter Hannah Elizabeth Mann of Wharton, Texas. She is also survived by her sisters, Linda Joyce Peveto and husband, Charles Ray Peveto of Houston, Texas, and Carlene Moore Weaver and husband Morris Weaver of Montgomery, Texas, and her sister-in-law and husband, Donna Kay and Addison Thornhill of Pearland, Texas and numerous extended family members. She was preceded in death by her parents Carl and Allene Smith.
Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at Wharton Funeral Home, 515 East Boling Highway, Wharton, Texas 77488 (979) 532-3410. Funeral services will be held at First Baptist Church, 507 North Fulton, Wharton, Texas 77488 at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, 2013 with Dr. Donnie Melton officiating. Interment will follow at Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery in Wharton, Texas.
Pallbearers are Dwayne Moore, Shannon Moore, Daniel Peveto, Matthew Peveto, Kip Attaway and David Voulgaris. Honorary Pallbearers include Buddy and Joan Attaway, Charles Peveto, Jesse and Sheila Smith, Addison and Donna Thornhill, Carlos and Wanda Bonnot, Bill and Alene Hubenak, members of her bridge club, sewing club, Sunday school class and Philomathean sorority.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to her care givers over the past several years, especially, Dora Campos, Jackie Green, Mary Ann Valdez and Demetria Frazier.
Memorials may be directed to First Baptist Church, 507 North Fulton, Wharton, Texas 77488 or the
, 2400 Augusta Drive, Suite 175, Houston, Texas 77057.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Apr. 2, 2013