COVID-19 claimed life of former Miss Mississippi Kathy Manning; The 59-year-old beauty queen was sick for weeks

Published 4:24 pm Thursday, December 30, 2021

A former Miss Mississippi who was second-runner up to Miss America was buried Thursday after weeks of battling the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Kathy Manning, 59, died just before Christmas in Collierville, Tennessee.

She was born in Clarksdale on May 28, 1962.

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Manning was a graduate of the University of Mississippi and represented the university as Miss University in 1984 while attending school.

As Miss University she went on to claim the Miss Mississippi title in 1984 and won the preliminary swimsuit competition and was second runner-up in the Miss America pageant that year.

After her pageant years, she worked as a weather reporter for a television station in Memphis and recorded Christian songs.

Her obituary begins with a quote from the late Mississippi author Willie Morris who mentioned Manning in his book “My Mississippi”

“I made a side tour to Drew…to visit a former student of mine at Ole Miss who had been named runner-up to Miss America in Atlantic City, but she had been out in the swamp most of the night killing bullfrogs with a .22 pistol for a frog-fry…”

It was unclear if she had been vaccinated or not.

To read her full obituary visit: