Robert J. Manganiello, 75, of Plains Township and formerly of Exeter, passed away Wednesday, April 10, 2013 in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, surrounded by his family.
Born in Exeter on May 4, 1937, he was the son of the late John and Grace Leonard Manganiello.
He was a graduate of Exeter High School and served in the United States Navy.
Bob started his newspaper career as a printer apprentice at the Sunday Dispatch. He was a journeyman printer for the Times Leader for 14 years. When the unions struck against the Times Leader, Bob was part of the group that founded The Citizens' Voice as a strike newspaper. Bob then utilized his hobby of photography to become chief photographer for The Citizens' Voice. He held that position for six years.
In 1984, Bob became marketing director of The Citizens' Voice. Within weeks, both the publisher and his assistant left the newspaper. Bob was thrust into the position of general manager, with no publisher to guide him. Because of the structure of The Citizens' Voice at that time, every employee of the newspaper received the same salary regardless of title or responsibility. Thus, Bob now had all of the responsibilities of a publisher without any of the financial benefit. As general manager, Bob guided The Citizens' Voice through some of its most tumultuous times.
In 1989, he was instrumental in incorporating the newspaper, changing from union ownership to a newspaper owned by its employees. Despite the odds against his success, Bob was able to cobble together a majority of the employees and board members to support his initiatives to build The Citizens' Voice. He also reached out to build relationships with the business community. Through Bob's efforts and those of his management team, The Citizens' Voice made history by becoming the longest surviving strike newspaper in the United States.
In 2000, Bob had the foresight to insure the survival of the newspaper by facilitating its sale to Times-Shamrock. This move not only provided many of the aging and retired former strikers with needed compensation for their shares, but also put The Citizens' Voice on a solid foundation that has helped the newspaper grow stronger.
Bob was very civic and community minded and served on many local boards including Valley Santa, a volunteer program which provides toys for needy local children at Christmas; The Citizens' Voice's sponsorship of Youth Salute, a program which recognizes local high school students who excel in scholarship, extra-curricular activities and community service; the fundraising committee for the 1989 Friends of Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America, Penn's Woods Council; Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Membership Services Committee; Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business & Industry; Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce; Diamond City Partnership; Penn State University Advisory Board, Wilkes-Barre Campus; St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen; Pittston Chamber of Commerce; Wyoming Valley American Red Cross; United Way of Wyoming Valley, Planning and Resource Development Committee; INMA – International Newspaper Marketing Association; Professional News Media Association of NEPA; The International Newspaper Marketing Association; The Northeastern Pennsylvania Association of Manufacturers Representatives.
On Friday, Nov. 19, 2004, Rep. Paul Kanjorski rose on the floor of the U.S. Congress to ask that the House pay tribute to Robert J. Manganiello on his retirement as publisher of The Citizens' Voice newspaper in Wilkes-Barre.
He was a member of St. Barbara Parish, Exeter.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death of his son-in-law, Andrew Calabrese, in 2001; sisters, Margaret Manganiello and Gloria Watson.
Bob is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Claire Hornick Manganiello; daughter, Carolyn Calabrese and her husband, John Spitters, Havertown and Danville, Calif.; grandson, Christopher Calabrese, Havertown. Also surviving are sisters, Ann Marie Macijowsky and Alice Berkowitz, both of Florida; brothers, John L. Manganello and his wife, Phyllis, Florida; and Paul Manganiello and his wife, Louise, Williamsport; numerous nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Cecelia's Church, Wyoming Avenue, Exeter. Those attending are asked to go directly to the church Wednesday morning. Interment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Carverton. Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Peter J. Adonizio Funeral Home, 251 William St., Pittston.
Memorial donations may be made to the Robert J. Manganiello Scholarship at King's College, 133 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711, or to the
. Online condolences may be made at www.peterjadoniziofuneralhome.com.
Published in Citizens' Voice from Apr. 12 to Apr. 14, 2013