Victoria F. Manning, larger-than-life lady

February 27, 2021

Victoria F. Manning died Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes of natural causes. Victoria, known to all as Vikki, was born in Summit, Ill., Dec. 15, 1949. 

She graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor of science degree in special education.  She spent 30-plus years working in the magazine publishing industry, beginning in Chicago, working at Yacht Racing and Cuisine magazines.  She moved to New York City in 1976 and worked on a variety of different magazines, including Book Digest, Boardroom Reports, Sesame Street, Howard Medical Newsletter and finally Condé Nast publications in the U.K., France, Spain, Germany and Australia.  She literally travelled the globe from London to Marrakech. 

While back in New York, she met and married Thomas A. Manning in 1992.  After her husband’s death in 1993, she split her time between her home in Wilmington and South Bethany.  She was a member of the South Coastal Library Board of Directors and also served as chairman of the annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour for five years.  She contributed significantly to the ever-increasing financial success and popularity of the tour during those five years. 

She was also a recipient of the State of Delaware Office of the Governor Tribute for her commitment to the Friends of the South Coastal Library, success of the Beach & Bay Cottage Tours, and her commitment and dedication to the cultural life of Sussex County and the First State.  This award was presented by Gov. Ruth Ann Minner in 2004.   

She was a true larger-than-life character.  She was a current-day Auntie Mame with fabulous stories of 5-star New York restaurants filled with maitre d’s, white tablecloths and urbane stylish patrons.  She was a glamorous lady whether in evening wear or a fabulous bathing suit.  She possessed a sense of how things are supposed to be. She attracted and collected dozens of friends.

She will be cremated and her ashes scattered at sea off her beloved South Bethany Beach after COVID resolves.  Immediate survivors include her sister, Gail Culver of Colorado, her stepson, Trevor Lancaster of North Carolina, her best friend of 45 years, Susan Allyn of California and her longtime boyfriend, Bill Burnore of Bethany Beach.  No flowers please.  All she wanted was for you to lift a glass in her name!

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