Carmen Mann was an outgoing woman who was a good friend to many, said her daughter, Marta Gerometta.
“She loved to have fun, travel and be in the company of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” she said. “She was definitely the center of our family.”
Carmen A. Mann, 90, of Portage, died May 17. She was a founding member of Nativity of Our Savior Catholic Church, where she was active in fundraising and church bazaars and festivals.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Earl Mann, in November 1988.
Mann was born in Panama City, Panama, and came to the United States as a young girl to live in Washington, D.C., with her aunt. After her aunt died, she returned to Panama to finish her education.
She and her husband moved the family back to the United States in 1957, when her husband took a job with NIPSCO.
“It was a huge move for our family to make. The culture was different, and all of her living relatives lived in Panama at the time,” Gerometta said. “Her life was totally changed from her life in Panama.”
She earned her driver’s license, became involved in church activities and volunteered at school.
Her church and faith were an important part of her life, her daughter said.
“She always felt that God was with her,” she said. “She also was giving with the church and its ministries, and felt that she should give to those that were not as fortunate as she felt she was. Her church was where she meant to make a difference.”
She loved to cook and bake, and enjoyed trying new recipes. She also enjoyed quilting with her church friends.
After her children were grown, she enjoyed many return trips to Panama.
“She often mentioned that she had ‘gypsy’ feet,” her daughter said.
Mann valued family, love, friendship and honesty.
“She always wanted to help others,” her daughter said. “She was important to her family as one who had taught them much about life and love.”