Dr. Janice Deros McManus Mack, former Director of the Children’s Home of Virginia Baptists, earned her wings and went home to eternal rest on Sunday, July 11, 2021. Dr. Mack, daughter of the late Reverend B. F. McManus and Janie Barnes McManus was born in Cheraw, South Carolina on November 15, 1929. Her family later moved to Richmond County North Carolina, where she grew up in the small city of Hamlet. She attended the Laurinburg Institute of North Carolina and Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. At Shaw, she worked for the President of the University, Dr. Robert Prentiss Daniels, and his wife.
Later, when Dr. Daniels became the President of Virginia State University (VSU), she was asked to accompany him and his wife and complete her studies at Virginia State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Home Economics and Guidance. After graduating, she became a full-time counselor at the university. She also began volunteering at the Children’s Home of Virginia Baptist, as an Evening Coordinator. She continued her service at the Home until she was appointed the first female Director of the Children’s Home. She served as the Director for over 27 years, (from September 1972 to December 1999).
On Sunday, July 11, 2021, Dr. Mack entered eternal rest at Southside Regional Medical Center, Petersburg, Virginia.
Dr. Mack spent most of her professional career in counseling and human services. She had a deep love and compassion for children. She believed wholeheartedly that the children are our future, and she used her wisdom, knowledge, and skills to help develop the hearts and minds of all children in her care and those that she would meet along her travels. She devoted her life to investing in the welfare of children and their families. Her philosophy: “Treat them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride. Let the children’s laughter remind us of how we used to be.”
She served as Manager of the Ritchie Multi-Purpose Building and Learning Center from January 2000 to July 2004. In 1999, she founded and served as Director of the Achievers Plus After School Program at the Children’s Home. The program served the community school children who needed extra academic support.
She was the first African American to serve on the Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Department of Social Services. Dr. Mack received numerous honors and awards during her lifetime. Among those she held dear to heart are the Certificate of Merit from Virginia State University, the Certificate of Appreciation from the BTU and Sunday School Congress of Virginia, her Honorary Doctorates from Virginia Seminary and College and Richmond Virginia Seminary; Mother Of the Year Award from the Federal Correctional Institute (Seventh Step Foundation), Prince George, Virginia and Mother of the Year Award from Shiloh Baptist Church - 1997.
Dr. Janice Deros McManus Mack, a true legend.