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David V. Manahan

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David V. Manahan Obituary
David V. Manahan

AGE: 87 • Morristown

David V. Manahan passed peacefully and comfortably at home on Thursday, October 4, 2012. He was 87. A two-term Mayor of Morristown, Dave retired from AT&T after 35 years as a public relations executive. In addition to taking pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren, Dave felt personally rewarded by his volunteer civic contributions. Prior to serving as Mayor, Dave was a member of the Morristown Recreation Commission and was vice chairman of the Morristown Housing Authority when the Wetmore Towers senior housing was built on Early Street and the Petrone and Ann Street senior complexes and additional low-income housing were planned. He also was a delegate to and chairman of the three-person Morris County Democratic delegation to the New Jersey State Constitutional Convention, which was convened to realign New Jersey's representation in line with the one-man, one-vote mandate. Dave served as president of the Morristown Board of Education when it merged with the Morris Township school district, and also was a member and treasurer of the Morristown Parking Authority. He was elected to the Morristown Charter Study Commission, which studied and held hearings on changing the Aldermanic form of town government to a strong Mayor-Council form, which is in effect today. As a result of his leadership on the Commission, Dave was urged to run for office and was elected the first Mayor of Morristown under the new form of government, serving from 1974 through 1977. He served a second term as Mayor from 1986 through 1989. During his first term, Dave created an Environmental Committee, primarily to help clean up the Whippany River and start Patriot's Path. Also during that term, he was a strong proponent in ensuring Route 287 was completed through Morristown. Additionally, he was a moving force behind the regionalization of the water system - with Morristown, Morris Township, Morris Plains and Hanover - into the Southeast Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (SMCMUA).

But perhaps closest to his heart, he was a Morristown American Little League coach and manager for some three decades, until macular degeneration, a degenerative vision-limiting condition, forced him into retirement. Dave began his Bell System public relations career with New Jersey Bell in late 1951. He was promoted from New Jersey Bell to AT&T in 1961 to provide press relations for the Telstar satellite projects. In another of his most memorable AT&T assignments, he handled the on-site management of community relations during the construction of the corporation's then-to-be headquarters building in Basking Ridge. Dave was a proud graduate and active alumnus of the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, where he received his bachelor's degree in political science, and of St. Benedict's Prep School, Newark. He also pursued post-graduate courses at Rutgers University, Newark. A World War II veteran, Dave served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, participating in the campaigns of Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Ie Shima. He maintained contact with his LST 807 shipmates following the war through his membership in the national LST Association. Dave also was a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the Atlantic Rehab Institute Stroke Group, and the Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) of Morris County, where he served several years as president. In retirement, he and his wife, Ilene, enjoyed traveling and spending time at their home on Long Beach Island.

Dave was predeceased by his oldest son, David B. He is survived by his loving wife, Ilene (Dorf), and was proud of the legacy he leaves in his children: Paul (Sue), Denise M. Forgione (Michael), Kevin (Linda), George (Susan) and Jerome (Debbie); 11 grandchildren: Sean, David C. (Kate), Matt (Amanda), Michael, Jonathan, Jeffrey, Ryan, Emma, Kristen, Erin and Will; and two great grandchildren, Janessa and Kalman. Also surviving is Dave's former wife, Patricia (Cass).

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Church of the Assumption, Morristown, NJ on Tuesday at 10:00AM. Interment Beth Israel Cemetery, Cedar Knolls. Hours of visitation at the Doyle Funeral Home, 106 Maple Ave., Morristown, NJ on Monday from 4-8PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions to or to the Morristown Area American Little League: MALL, P.O. Box 2201, Morristown, NJ 07950 c/o Robert Lucas in Dave's name would be appreciated. Arrangements are by Doyle Funeral Home, 106 Maple Avenue, Morristown (www.doylefh.com; 973-539-0622).

Published in Daily Record on Oct. 7, 2012
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