Frederick “Darrell” Mann of Blue Ridge, Georgia went home to be with the Lord surrounded by his family on September 24, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick Earl, and Betty Thomas Mann, sister Patricia Mann and brother Earl Mann Jr. Darrell, also known as Pappa, was a dedicated member of the Blue Ridge community. He was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee November 20, 1949. Darrell grew up in Atlanta where he found his first job while still in early elementary school - his own paper route. His parents bought a farm in McCaysville, Georgia when he was 14 years old and Darrell always felt like this was home. In July 1969, after graduating from Grady High School he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He completed basic training at the Naval Training Center in Orlando, Florida, and was assigned to Patrol Squadron 49 in Patuxent River, Maryland. He worked as a Naval aviation ordnanceman and mechanic, flying as a crewman on the Lockheed P3 aircraft, patrolling the coast of the United States. After leaving the Navy, while working for the City of Atlanta Water Department, Darrell met the love of his life, Kathy, who was in nursing school at Georgia Baptist Hospital. They married in 1972. Darrell continued to work full-time while attending college. He graduated from Georgia State University’s College of Education and also a certification in therapeutic recreation. Soon after graduating from Georgia State, Darrell and Kathy moved to South Carolina where Darrell obtained his master's degree from Clemson University’s School of Forestry. In 1980 Darrell and Kathy moved to his beloved Blue Ridge where they built their home from the ground up while raising two boys. Darrell had a solution to every broken thing and misplaced part. The grandchildren thought he could fix anything! He was always happy on the tractor, doing something on his farm. Most people in the community know Darrell as the University of Georgia’s extension agent in Fannin County. Darrell was always active in the Chamber of Commerce. He co-wrote the grant funding the restoration of the county’s historic caboose which is a focal point of downtown today. He also wrote grants for the development of the Fannin County Recreation Department. After leaving the extension service, Darrell obtained his real estate license and opened Georgia Prime Real Estate. He constructed a new building for Georgia Prime, which is still above Ingles. The grand opening was to be in November 2001, but when our country was attacked on 9-11-2001, he raised the 1500 square-foot American flag two month early! As the owner of Georgia Prime Real Estate, one of his many community projects was the launch of the E911, blue metal address sign program. Darrell made and sold the signs and donated the proceeds back to the emergency management system in Fannin County. During this time, he also served as a director and board member of the Generations Bank in Blairsville, Georgia. Darrell never met a stranger. You could always find him at the Relay for life events and on Halloween, dressed up in costume at their downtown real estate office, giving out candy! Darrell was a member of Harbor Ministry in McCaysville, Georgia, where he loved to watch his grandchildren sing on Sunday mornings. Darrell will be remembered for his clever sense of humor and entertaining stories which were especially endearing to his nephews and nieces. He had an unfailing work ethic, a generous smile, and an unwavering willingness to help. In later years, when Parkinson’s disease robbed him of his physical strength, he taught us all the meaning of patience and persistence. He allowed us to show him a small measure of the service he had long demonstrated to all of us. Darrell is survived by his wife of 51 years, Kathy Atkinson Mann; sons and daughters-in-law, Joseph and Jennifer Mann of Savannah, Will and Lauren Mann of Dalton; sisters and brother-in-law; Sheryl and Chip Baggett of Suwanee; Robin and Dan Parr of Dahlonega; and David Atkinson and Tina Lecroy-Atkinson of Hartwell. Grandchildren are Noah, Faith, Erin, Owen, and Lyric Mann of Savannah and Wyatt, Bishop, BeccaKate, and Thomas Mann of Dalton as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Services are set for November 11, 2023 at 11:00 am at Harbor Ministries in McCaysville, GA with Pastor Denise Caldwell. The family will receive friends from 10:00 am - 11:00 am at Harbor Ministries in McCaysville, GA with coffee provided.