Etta N. Mann, who was integrally involved in establishing the first state-supported school for black students, has died at the age of 88.
Etta Nickpeay Mann was born in Eastover on May 6, 1928. She was a devoted wife to the late Master Sgt. Earl T. Mann, and their union produced two sons, Earl and Eric, who were at her side during her final moments. She was a graduate of St. Augustine’s College, with a master’s degree from Indiana University.
Mann came to Beaufort in 1949 to teach at Penn School, one of the first schools in the United States for freed slaves. Her continued involvement and passion for all that Penn represented culminated in her induction into the 1862 Circle.
She was very involved with establishing the first state-supported school for black students on St. Helena Island and was a part of the Beaufort County School system for almost four decades.
As a classroom teacher and guidance counselor, she mentored hundreds of students and formed deep and lasting friendships that were a source of great happiness and pride for her.
Mann’s passion was serving her community, her church, and her beloved Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She was also an active member of Lowcountry Ladies of South Carolina, the American Association of University Women and the Pan Hellenic Council.
Her spiritual home was St. Helena’s Episcopal Church, where she served as lector.
Services were held at St. Helena Episcopal Church in Beaufort, with burial following in Beaufort National Cemetery.
She is survived by her two devoted sons, Earl Mann Jr. and Eric Nickpeay Mann, her daughter-in-law Robynne, and her granddaughters Jasmine and Sydney.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to Historic Penn Center, PO Box 126, St. Helena Island, SC 29920.