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Retha McManus

Retha Mae McManus, 84, of Delta, passed away Friday, March 18, 2022, at her home.

She was born April 18, 1937, to Henry and Lola (Kemp) Ballew in Williamsville. Retha was saved July 4, 1954, at Second Baptist Church in Fredericktown, serving several years as a Sunday School teacher and VBS leader. She and Bobby Dean McManus were married Aug. 6, 1960, at the church, and subsequently made their home in Delta.

Retha was a 1956 graduate of Fredericktown High School. In 1960, she graduated from Missouri Baptist Hospital School of Nursing. She worked at Saint Francis Medical Center, Southeast Hospital, Chaffee General Hospital, and Life Care Nursing Center, retiring from Life Care Center in 1985. After retirement, she volunteered at Southeast Hospital.

Retha was an active member of First Baptist Church in Delta, faithfully serving as a teacher in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, coordinating bereavement meals, and the Operation Christmas Child program.

Loving survivors include her husband of 61 years, Bob McManus of Delta; two children, Penny Lipe of Delta and Robert McManus (Michelle) of St. Louis; six grandchildren, Mollie Fields, Zoe Lipe, Jeff (Allison) McManus, Paul McManus (Alexandria), Scott (Olivia) McManus, Sidney (Ashlyn) McManus; two sisters-in-law, Evelyn Gass of Cape Girardeau and Ella Dee (Claude) Jinks of Houston, TX; and eight great-grandchildren, Penelope, Payten, Wyatt, Heidi, Lincoln, Rhett, Lane, and Lyla.

She was preceded in death by two daughters, Linda Kaye and Brenda Faye McManus; seven siblings, Earl, Herschel, Howard, Henry, James, and Bill Ballew, Ruby Schmidt; and her parents.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, March 25, 2022, and from 9 a.m. to service time, Saturday, March 26, 2022, at First Baptist Church in Delta.

Funeral service will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 26, 2022, at the church, with the Rev. Randy Conn officiating.

In lieu of flowers, and at Retha’s request, memorials may take the form of contributions to First Baptist Church in Delta for “Operation Christmas Child.” If someone wishes to personally fill a shoebox for a child, boxes and labels may be picked up in the stairwell entrance on the south side of First Baptist Church in Delta. For details concerning items for shoeboxes, please visit, and click on the Pack a Shoebox tab.  

Online condolences may be sent to the family by clicking on the tribute wall tab of Retha’s personal obituary page at

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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