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Manna Director passes away after extended illness

A long-time local educator and director of a community ministry has passed away. Genelda McClain, the director of MANNA and retired assistant principal of Thomson High School died at the age of 64 on Monday, April 30 in University Hospital.

According to Butch Baston, the former MANNA board chairman, Ms. McClain was a wonderful person who loved spending her time in service to others.

"Really, I think Genelda was a God-send because, at the time, we had only been in operation a short time when our director left, and we really did not have a lot of funding or a lot of money to pay someone," Mr. Baston said. "Genelda was just a good, Christian person that stepped up and agreed to take it on, on a temporary basis, which turned into full time for her."

During her tenure as director, Ms. McClain organized the ministry, increased its volunteer base, brought in more funding from the churches and expanded the number of families served, board members said. MANNA serves over 400 area families by providing groceries and assistance with utility bills.

"Genelda actually did keep that thing going, and not only that but moved it to a different level for us," Mr. Baston said.

Ms. McClain recently received an award from the Thomson Rotary Club for her service with MANNA as well as a literacy tutor, diabetic support group, the AARP and the First Baptist Church Library. The Jean Harris Award is given to a non-Rotarian who has contributed greatly to the community.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, May 2 at 11 a.m. in The Thomson First Baptist Church with Dr. Jim Ramsey officiating.

Graveside services were held at 3 p.m. in the Corinth Baptist Church Cemetery in Arnoldsville, Ga. The family received friends on Tuesday evening at Curtis Funeral Home.

Ms. McClain was a member of Thomson First Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her mother, Hattie Moore (Limehouse) McClain, and is survived by her father, James Leslie McClain of Arnoldsville, a brother, James Leslie McClain, Jr., of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Web posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007

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