Margaret McManus dies at 89

A funeral Mass for Margaret Dempsey McManus, an alumna of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, was offered Oct. 19 at Our Lady of Grace in Parkton. McManus died Oct. 15 at her Monkton residence. She was 89.

A Baltimore native, McManus was a graduate of Towson Catholic High School.

A 1941 graduate of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, she lived the college’s current tag line “Dare to stand apart,” during her four years on campus.

As a first-year student, McManus studied Greek, one of the few students who pursued that language on campus at the time and was editor-in-chief of Columns, the student newspaper.

McManus went on to become a journalist for The Evening Sun. She began as a city desk reporter, a rare assignment for a woman in journalism at the time. She later became features editor of The Evening Sun.

While there, she met Jim McManus (known professionally as Jim McKay), a fellow newspaper staffer. They married in 1948 and had two children, Mary and Sean.

When her husband’s broadcasting career took them to the New York area, McManus continued working in journalism, writing a weekly syndicated column and various feature stories for national news outlets.

Her love for her alma mater always took center stage. She was regent of the College’s New York Chapter from 1950-56. She was the first alumna elected to College of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees in 1979 and was re-elected by popular demand in 1989. At the time of her passing, McManus still served the College of Notre Dame as trustee emerita.

She was a tireless fundraiser for the school and the recipient of several honors.

“Margaret McManus was an extraordinary alumna,” said Mary Pat Seurkamp, president of College of Notre Dame. “Margaret quickly became a trusted adviser to me when I arrived as a new president in 1997. Her devotion to Notre Dame was lifelong. She was a passionate advocate for women, their education and leadership.

“I visited with Margaret over the summer, and she was as engaged as ever with the news and updates about her beloved College of Notre Dame,” Dr. Seurkamp said. “She will be missed enormously.”

McManus’ husband, Jim, died in June 2008. She is survived by her daughter, Mary McManus Guba; her son, Sean McManus; her sister, Elizabeth Dempsey Anderson ’43; and three grandchildren.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.