CARMEN YVONNE ATKISSON MANESS
In memory of my wonderful
sister I am happy to be sharing her biography with everyone. She passed away in 2000 at the age of 70. I miss her every day.
born January 25, 1930 in Brighton, Alabama to Mary and Pete Atkisson. She was their first born child, and the moment she was born my grandmother placed her in my daddy's arms and said, “It is good luck for the father to hold the baby first.”
And so it was that my sister was intellectually gifted, was very beautiful and had a sharp wit that has kept us laughing, even after all these years that she has been gone.
When Carmen was about one year old, she and my parents moved to Oklahoma in hopes of making a living. The country was in the throes of the devastating Great Depression and jobs were scarce. But life was no better for them
in Oklahoma than in Alabama. So in 1935, they moved back to Chilton county where our daddy was hired by the Alabama Power Company. Carmen started first grade at a one-room schoolhouse at Mitchell Dam. In 1941 our family moved to Martin Dam
and Carmen began third grade at Kent. She began fourth grade at Red Hill where she loved and always had many friends. Growing up in Red Hill, there was no entertainment to be had so the young people would get together and sing and play. She told
me once how she, Irene Clayton, Bobby Jack Hall, Arnold Dopson, Billy Dopson and Eddie Well Jones would get together and sing. She had a beautiful alto voice and could harmonize with anyone. After she graduated at Red Hill, she started her 10th
grade at Tallassee High School where she graduated in 1948. She furthered her education at Massey-Draugn and worked part-time at the Payday candy factory in Montgomery. She never ate another Payday candy bar as long as she lived.
She met her husband to be, Dave Maness, at a nightclub in Montgomery and they were married January 13, 1950. Dave was in the Air Force and they spent many
years in Alaska and also in San Angelo, Texas where their two children, Steve and Connie, were born.
Carmen always worked for the Federal
government and at the time of her retirement she was a Systems Analyst at Gunter AFB. After her retirement she started taking painting classes and became very accomplished. In all our homes hangs a painting of hers. They also did a lot of
traveling throughout the country in their motor home. She especially loved the western states. When we traveled, she would be captivated by the desolate landscape in southwest Texas. In the seat next to her, I would be fast asleep.