MANSON, Donald B. 74, known to friends, colleagues, and students as Don, passed away peacefully at home from Parkinson's disease on January 16, 2015. He is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn (Lindberg) Manson, his son John, his daughter Cindy Manson and her husband Tim LaVallee, his grandchildren Ian, and Fiona, and Audrey and her husband Bruce, and his great-grandson Maurice. He is also survived by his brother Alan, his sister Mona, and many nieces and nephews, and the group of devoted caretakers who gave him much comfort and enjoyment during the last years of his life. Don graduated from Lawrence University in Wisconsin in 1962, and University of Wisconsin Law School in 1968, where he spent his summers working to support voting rights and criminal justice. He entered a career in public service that included work for the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C. on law enforcement and urban justice. He brought his family to Boston to serve under Mayor Kevin H. White as the director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. In 1975 Don was appointed Director of the City of Boston Youth Activities Commission which was responsible for juvenile crime prevention and coordinating safety and security plans relative to the implementation of the Boston School desegregation initiative. During his tenure at the YAC Don had oversight of twelve Youth Resource Centers and over 120 youth workers throughout the city. Don's administrative skills and fundraising expertise helped create numerous resources for the youth of Boston in the areas of recreation, education and employment. During the Blizzard of 1978 Don mobilized his team of youth workers to play a major role in the distribution of food, water and medicine to the elderly and handicapped. In 1978 Mayor White appointed Don as Director of City of Boston Public Facilities Department, where he had responsibility for all major city construction projects during the difficult years of Proposition 21/2. During his tenure, he created the Boston Municipal Police Department in 1979 to deal with rising incidents of vandalism, arson and theft of public property. Over its 27 years of operations the Municipal Police saved Boston residents millions of dollars through a comprehensive system that protect City assets; in 2007 the Boston Municipal Police merged with the Boston Police Department. In his years following his work for the City, Don served as Deputy Director of the Division of Employment and Training under Michael Dukakis, and then returned to one of his first and greatest loves, teaching high school and working with students. For ten years he worked at Boston's Jamaica Plain and Charlestown high schools, leading groups of students in projects teaching government, public service, and leadership skills. He brought groups to Washington, DC as part of the Close-Up Washington program, and on trips around New England in partnership with Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center, which perfectly combined his love of the outdoors with his love of the city and its people. Always he considered these years to hold some of his greatest achievements, and even as Parkinson's made it difficult for him to speak, he would talk about "his kids" and their trips to Washington D.C., rock climbing, night trips in inner-city Boston, winter camping, dog sledding, and rowing and camping on the Boston Harbor Islands. Don's family will hold visiting hours at Mann-Rodgers and Commonwealth Funeral Home, 44 Perkins St., JAMAICA PLAIN, 02130 on Saturday, January 24, from 3:00 to 7:00pm. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in Don's name may be made to the Hurricane Island Foundation, P.O. Box 1280, Rockland Maine, 04841 (hurricaneisland.net
), or to Bridge Over Troubled Waters, 47 West Street, Boston, MA 02111
Published by Boston Globe from Jan. 20 to Jan. 23, 2015.