A Celebration of Life
On the early morning of Friday, April 21, 2023, God decided that He needed His daughter, Janet (Jan) C. Hardin Manke after a lengthy illness to come home with Him.
Janet Carol Hardin Manke was born on January 30, 1954 in Atlanta GA. She was one of three children, born to the late Harold G. Hardin Sr. and Renee Deaton Hardin.
Jan is survived by her husband, William Frederick Manke who she affectionately called “Bill”. They were best friends! Jan and Bill met for the first time while hanging out with his best friend and football teammate (Marty) from Gordon Military College who was dating Jan’s sister (Joy). Bill came with Marty while he was visiting Joy. Bill’s exact words when he set eyes on Jan, “I thought she was a babe, beautiful, and funny.” A couple of years later, he set eyes on Jan again when he was one of the groomsmen in Marty’s wedding who was marrying Jan’s sister. Bill and Jan started dating and seven years later, Bill asked Jan’s father for her hand in marriage. They married February 10, 1979, and embarked on life together for 44 wonderful years.
Jan is also survived by her sister, Joy (Martin Jones, husband), Peachtree City, GA, brother, Harold (Hal) G. Hardin Jr. (Shelly, wife), Cumming GA., nephews, Todd Jones, Grayson, GA., Brian Jones, Bowden, GA., sister-in-law, Margie (Ronald Keeling, Sr., husband), and 7 great nephews and nieces.
Jan loved life and loved animals. She referred to her pets as her children, especially Misha, Tasha-girl, Hans, Rusty, Toby, and Max. Jan went to Peachtree High School (Class of 1972) and studied social work at Georgia State University (Class of 1997). Jan took special interest in assisting and supporting individuals with developmental and mental disabilities Jan pursued employment as a Social Service Coordinator of DeKalb Community Service Board (June 1973) and later became Director of DeKalb Community Service Board CHOICE (Choosing Opportunities In Community Environments) Program, a program she initiated and cultivated with passion, dedication, heart, and determination to focus not on one’s disability, rather one’s ability; thus, creating possibility through patience, empathy, and a splash of genuine love through her nurturing way to offer and implement “choice” and a sense of normalcy while educating and partnering with the community to remain on this platform of hope and advocacy for the individuals being supported. Jan retired from the Dekalb Community Service Board CHOICE Program while on medical disability November 2009.
Jan remained strong in her faith and trusted God through it all. Jan exemplified being selfless and although we will miss her fun-loving spirit and radiant smile, her kindness has left an indelible impact on all of us. Jan you will be greatly missed and forever loved.