Wendy’s ultimate miracle
For The Madera Tribune
Wendy Beckett Manzo.
Wendy Ruth Beckett Manzo — her life story represents a series of miracles, but on the evening of Friday, January 28 at 8:12, she experienced the greatest miracle of all.
Born in 1979, she was the third child of Georgia and Carles Beckett, the beautiful daughter who brought joy to her parents and two brothers, Wade and Wesley.
Wendy was a miracle right from the start. Against the background of family tragedies and heartaches, she brought fresh joy to the Becketts, as she grew up on her family’s ranch in the Dixieland district where her father was the school principal.
Wendy attended Dixieland throughout her elementary and intermediate school years, and her childhood in Madera was complete with adventure and love. Between Carles and Georgia she was raised to be kind, God-fearing, and hard working. Wendy was the apple of everyone’s eye and it was easy to see why.
She attended both Madera High School and Fresno Christian High School and graduated from Fresno Christian in 1997. She was not only the homecoming queen, but she was a queen of hearts as well.
Wendy went on to graduate from Fresno State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and earned a teaching credential, which she quickly put to use as she began her teaching career at Central Unified School District.
Teaching was truly Wendy’s calling. Each student was special to her. She knew not only how to teach their minds, but more importantly she had a special gift to shape their hearts. Wendy was deeply loved by her Central Unified family.
Wendy’s life was blessed, and it continued to be blessed with the birth of her sons Skyler and Jadon and with her rewarding teaching career. Then 12 years ago, Wendy’s life took a turn.
Her first symptoms were mild. She went to the doctor with a mild cough and learned quickly that she had four malignant tumors the size of oranges. One was attached to her liver, and two were on her lungs. The most critical was the tumor on her heart.
Wendy underwent a 14-hour surgery at U.C. Davis. The tumors were removed, but she had to remain in ICU for 35 days. Her mother, Georgia, stayed with her child the entire time. After a year, Wendy was able to return to her teaching job at Central Unified, then the cancer returned. She was treated, and again returned to work. When the cancer returned a third time, Wendy was strongly advised not to try to return to work.
Wendy was always humbled by the generosity and kindness of her teaching family at Central Unified. The district coined “#teamwendy” at the beginning of her battle with cancer. While she had to leave the classroom, the classroom NEVER left her heart.
One could often find Wendy looking through students’ old art projects or books they had made her. Teaching truly brought Wendy an immense amount of joy, and she truly loved EACH child she taught.
For a dozen years, Wendy fought her battle against cancer, and those battles were miracles in themselves. She had a beautiful way of living out her faith daily. Her love for the Lord was evident as she trusted in Him through all of her journey. Wendy took delight in pointing others to Jesus and never shied away from praying with them, even in some of her most difficult moments. The joy of the Lord was her strength, and she will forever be remembered for showing the radiant love of Christ during her time on earth.
Last week, it became clear that Wendy was going to experience the ultimate miracle; she was going to see Jesus face to face. She was going to worship in person the One who had died for her so that she could live with Him forever.
So her family gathered to say goodbye, and at 42, after a 12-year battle with thymic carcinoma cancer, Wendy closed her eyes to this world and at the same time opened them to the face of Jesus, and so shall she remain, awaiting the special reunion that is coming as her family and loved ones join her.
In addition to her parents and brothers, Wendy is survived by her husband, Micah Manzo; her sons Skyler 17 and Jadon 15. Her love for family was second to none. She adored her sons and found her primary calling in life being their mother. She proudly served as their prayer warrior, advocate, cheerleader, mentor, teacher, and first love. From autism walks to baptisms, her steadfast love for her children remained consistent throughout the years.
While Wendy’s journey on earth is done, she is celebrating in Heaven with her Maker. She lived a life of character, integrity, servitude, and love, and she held fast to Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
A memorial service will be held for Wendy at People’s Church, 7172 N. Cedar, Fresno, CA at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022.