ANN MCNEILL FORTSON MANDUS

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Obituary

ANN MCNEILL FORTSON MANDUS (1928 - 2013) Ann McNeill Fortson Mandus died Sunday, July 21, 2013, at her home in Atlanta from complications of pneumonia and Altzheimer's disease. Born in Washington, GA, on September 16, 1928, she was the only child of the late Georgia Secretary of State Benjamin W. Fortson, Jr. and his wife, the late Mary Cade Fortson. Ann graduated in 1949 from Georgia State Woman's College in Valdosta, GA, where she was a member of the school yearbook staff and was voted Queen of the May three times. In 1955 she married renowned Atlanta portrait artist, George Mandus. They established homes in Atlanta and Santa Fe, NM. Fulfilling a promise to her grandmother, Mrs. Annie McNeill Cade of Washington, GA, Ann and George took a pilgrimage to the Scottish Isle of Barra, where they visited the ancestral home and had tea with the laird's wife at Kisimul Castle. They returned to Britain several times, traveling extensively through the British Isles and enjoying an audience with the Duchess of Bedford at Woburn Abbey. Ann's interests were many and varied, including Native American culture and history, ancient world history and herpetology (the study of amphibians). She loved to fish and developed a great interest in sharks. She saw Jaws a dozen times and it remained her favorite movie. She instilled her keen sense of humor and her devotion to reading in her children. Christmas was a favorite time for Ann, who made each holiday magical by decorating the family home with theme trees, including a white tree with Chinese fans, a bird and fruit tree, a mouse tree and a grand nine-foot tree in the den. Her Christmas cards were always decorated with images of mice. Ann was a talented cook who was known for the dinner parties and holiday gatherings she hosted for friends. George Mandus preceded his wife in death in December 2012. Ann is survived by one daughter, MaryCade Mandus of Atlanta; one son, Ben F. Mandus (Cheryl) of Gresham, OR; one grandson, Alexander George Mandus (Aubrey) of Portland, OR; an uncle, Warren C. Fortson (Linda) of Atlanta; and two sisters-in-law, Mrs. Mary Springer of McMurray, PA, and Mrs. Ann Smoke of Canonsburg, PA. Ann was a longtime member of Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church in Brookhaven, GA. A memorial service will be held in Washington, GA, in September 2013.
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 1, 1900
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