CARA JOY McMANUS (nee Williams), age 36, avid cyclist who courageously battled lung cancer, died April 24, 2015 at the Cleveland Clinic surrounded by her loving family; beloved wife of Jeffrey; loving daughter of Joyce Williams and Trent Wyckoff; devoted granddaughter of Margie and the late Fred Lon Williams, Jr.; cherished niece of Jean Williams, Janet Hassfeld, Jeri Kinney and the late Joan Williams and William Bryant; treasured daughter-in-law of John and Pamela (nee Harrison) McManus; dearest sister-in-law of Jennifer and Christopher McManus; fond niece to many aunts and uncles on Jeffrey’s side of the family; dear cousin and friend of many. Cara is also survived by her feline companions Mitters and Eponine.
Cara was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. From childhood, she was a creative and artistic person with a keen sense of curiosity about the world around her. At Dublin Scioto High School, Cara was a proud member of the marching band in which she played the clarinet, an instrument she continued to enjoy playing into adulthood. In 2006, Cara and Jeff’s lives changed forever when the two, having originally become friends after meeting via an online game, fell in love and began a long distance relationship. After meeting Jeff, Cara began to ride a bicycle, and this sparked a life-long passion in her. Cara moved to Cleveland to be closer to Jeff in 2008; the two became engaged in 2010 and married in June 2011. In Cleveland, she became very active in the cycling community. Just weeks before being diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in August of 2013, Cara completed a two-day, 150-mile MS charity bike tour. Throughout her battle with cancer, Cara’s strength, determination and courage shone through all the more brightly. She continued to show her numerous talents in hobbies such as cooking and drawing, continued to work diligently as a test proctor at Case Western Reserve University, and continued to light up the lives of all those around her with her wit and spirit. She also was instrumental in founding the Breathe Deep Cleveland lung cancer charity walk/run, an event she continued to work on into the last weeks of her life. Cara will be remembered most as a determined, passionate, courageous and effervescent woman who brought great joy to everyone who was lucky enough to know her.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Cara’s memory to Breathe Deep Cleveland, lungevity.org/Cleveland.
Celebration of Life Service Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 10 AM at THE DeJOHN-FLYNN-MYLOTT FUNERAL HOME OF SOUTH EUCLID, 4600 MAYFIELD RD. (just east of Green Rd.). Graveside Service will take place at Union Cemetery in Columbus, OH at 2:45 PM on WEDNESDAY. Family will receive friends to pay tribute to and celebrate the life of Cara at the FUNERAL HOME TUESDAY 3-5 and 6-8 PM.
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Tim, Nancy and sons, Ryan and Michael
Cara was a brave and happy girl according to Pam. Jeffrey was loyal in health and sickness with his loving care. We wish this sad event never occurred. Much blessing to all of family. Our sympathy to all family in your loss.
So sorry to hear about Cara’s passing. I remember her from two different jobs. She always made work a little more fun. She’ll be missed.
Loren and Cheryl VanDeusen
Dearest Jeffrey, Pam and John,
Loren and I are very saddened to learn of your loss of Cara. She fought so bravely to overcome her cancer illness. We are out of town on a church mission trip so are unable to join you at services for her. We will make a donation in her name at Breathe Deep Cleveland when we return. May God grant you comfort as you grieve this tremendous loss. Loren and Cheryl
Cara was one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. The way she stood up and faced her illness made me so proud. You can never give in to it. She put up one heck of a fight . Her laughter and smile through it all made everyone happy. We were all blessed to have known her. I’ve lost 3 friends within a yr. to cancer. Cara is now the 4th. Those of us who have fought the battle and still deal with it will continue the fight. We will do it for Cara. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeff and the entire family.
Kathy J Armada
Cara ~ you were truly a Rockstarcyclinggirl and I am so much better for having known you. I love you and know you will live in my heart.
When I think of all my favorite high school memories almost all of them involved Cara. She was always a chair ahead of me in band but we got to sit by each other and we’d make up obnoxious words to the songs we played; some even had small dance moves! Marching band, band camp, competitions, Disney World and all of the crazy things we got into made my life worth living. We’ve stayed in touch all these years and I love her dearly. I’ll miss you Cara.
Joyce and Trent,
We are so sorry to hear of Cara’s passing. She was very courageous. Cara will always hold a special place in my heart. I have many fond memories of her when she was a part of our family.Our thoughts and prayers are with you . May her memory comfort you. I thought I would share a poem with you that she framed for me while I was battling breast cancer.
“Days can’t always be happy. Skies can’t always be bright. Sunny days that warm and cheer us are always followed by night. When life seems overwhelming and you lose more than you gain; remember the most dazzling rainbows can only follow a rain.”
I know she truly believed this and would want you to believe this too.
Donna Harrison Bennett
Jeff, Pam, John, Chris and Jen.
My heart goes out to you. Cara Joy says it all. For me, she will be a shining star next to Christine (who would be 35 this year). Who knows??? maybe they can hang out together until we all join them.
I had the privilege of getting to know Cara the past 3.5 years online. She was a very valued member of our little corner of the internet, and we are all better people for knowing her. Her humor, witty remarks, strength, and determination will all be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are grieving her absence. Peace be the journey.
Rob and Jeanie Brubaker
We are greatful for the privilege of knowing Cara. Jeffery, you have our deepest sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Pam, John, Jennifer, and Christopher. With profound sorrow, Rob and Jeanie Brubaker
Dale & Gloria Heydlauff
We morn the loss of this beautiful woman with her relentlessly positive attitude, even in the face of a massive battle against an insidious disease. She truly loved life and every one in it. She has left an indelible void and will be deeply missed. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family, especially her devoted and caring husband.
Love, Dale & Gloria
Like Becky, I too got to know Cara over the internet. She lit up the room & made everyone laugh. She touched many lives & will not be forgotten. My condolences to her friends & family around the world.
Mark and Kathy Gray
We are so sorry to hear of your loss. We extend to your our deepest sympathy.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. So sorry for your loss uncle Trent and Joyce. I had no idea she was ill and I hadn’t seen her since we were kids but it sounds like she was a truly wonderful person and will become missed by many. Love you uncle Trent and I send prayers your way.
Hillel J. Chiel
I got to know Cara through Jeff, and I was immediately impressed with her vivacity, her intelligence, and her passionate love for Jeff. I was privileged to attend Jeff and Cara’s wedding, and I have rarely had the privilege to see a happier couple. Back in 2013, when Jeff presented a poster on his research in the lab at ShowCASE, Cara was clearly proud and pleased with her husband’s accomplishments. Even sickness could not quell her great spirit. She has left us all much too soon, and I wish Jeff and her family and friends my sincerest condolences during this very difficult time.
I’ve known Cara for about 10 years now. I enjoyed all the times that I was able to spend with her, both in Columbus and in Cleveland after we both moved. I got to know Jeff a bit over time as well and they both got to know Stan too.
She will be so very missed by so very many people, but I’m so happy to know that she’s no longer hurting and that she has left us her cause to carry on for her. Stan and I are keeping Jeff as well as his and Cara’s families in our thoughts.
Although I only live two hours away from Cara, I never met her in person. I met Cara on an online community two years ago and only know her as “Cle”. I cannot begin to count the times that she has made me laugh with her sense of humor and ability to create the perfect image for a conversation. I would get excited each time she would post that she had a new post on her blog, or give a small update to the forums. She was always so positive, regardless of how she felt physically. Cle was a wonderful part of the online community we were apart of, she will be dearly missed.
Getting to know Cara has been a privilege. Her strength, optimism, “nothing is going to stop us” approach to life, her love and admiration for Jeff, the enjoyment she found in simple things…these and so much more is her legacy. Thank you Cara for your example.