Alberta Darlene Manka returned to the Lord September 15, 2021 following a brief illness in Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Missouri. She was born May 11, 1945, in Modesto, California completing her early schooling there in California. She developed a passion for classic cars uncharacteristic of women with the knowledge and shared time with her father growing up. She followed her father and a brother to Missouri in 1970’s living in Golden City then settling in Lamar. She enjoyed working in various employment opportunities with her first in Missouri being at Smith Brothers in Lamar and during the weekends ran the Greenfield Movie Theater. Moving on later to Butterball Company in Carthage then to O’Sullivan’s Industries of Lamar where she achieved many of her “first” accomplishments being one of the first of two women leadmen on production. Her next adventure involved traveling the United States over the road trucking for five years before settling into her last career at Thorco. Here she became the first woman forklift driver of the company which she continued to do until her retirement in 2012. Never being idle at work or home, she enjoyed learning computers and electronic technology of any kind and took any challenges head on cleverly disgused with her alias Ms Peadoodle. Alberta took numerous opportunities to travel back to California to her roots and to spend some very special times in San Francisco enjoying the coast and especially her love of seafood and their sourdough bread. The Golden Gate Bridge was especially dear to her heart declaring it was her bridge. She has so many photos of her and the special people on those trips year after year. Another passion in her daily life involved the pets she cared for small and large. Her passion for animals created numerous pet loves in her lifetime including Lady, Angel, Spike, Hercules, Josiah, Jasmine, Itty Biggy, Midnight and Kimmie of her past and the present loves Kidee, Sassy Sue, Fancy and Silky. She got to fulfill her dream of horse ownership with her Arabian Little Liz and her first colt Frisco Bay thus returning full circle honoring one of her favorite places. Alberta also loved the arts and attended plays and theatrical events. In more recent years she especially enjoyed comedy shows and given the opportunity loved being the star with her dry wit and sharp mind sharing her endless supply of humor. Even though Alberta never had any children, she was a strong mother influence and friend to many nieces and nephews. She was fun, adventurous and a partner in crime on those babysitting treks whose tales are legendary today. Alberta was more than your relative, neighbor or friend. Her compassion and caring transcended deep in her roots where she touched so many in her lifetime whether the brief meeting on the road or through her lifetime whether you were related or family by choice. A scholar, joker, mom, aunt, friend and sister she lived with sass and zest that made her bigger than life. She did what she wanted and did not take no for an answer. No societal roadblock or boundary stopped her dreams and goals in life. Instead, her faith in Jesus Christ guided and carried her through her life’s journey and now she has returned home. Alberta was preceded in death by her parents Guy and Mina Manka, sisters June Bench, Amy Bates, Pat Bates and brothers Ron Manka, Kenny Manka and Bill Manka and nephew Glenn Manka. Living relatives include a brother Don Manka, a niece/daughter Kimberly Cupit and husband Darryl Cupit, a niece Debbie Onstott Bogle and husband James Bogle as well as many other nieces and nephews across the country. Special sisters by choice included Laura Waldbuesser, Barb Rutledge, Christine Martin, and Maria Kavanagh. Alberta will be celebrated in a private family memorial at a later date. Those wanting to celebrate her life with us and help what is dear to her can donate to Small Town Feline Friends of Golden City, Spare Cat Rescue of Carthage or Lamar Animal Shelter in her name. In faith and God’s glory all can be done A private service will be held.