by Jennifer Yos
LANSING, Ill. (July 18, 2020) – Roll call at the July 14 Village Board Meeting was both somber and poignant. A vase had been set in front of Trustee Mike Manno’s usual seat, and as each Trustee’s name was called, he or she responded “Here,” and then rose to place a blue flower in the vase. The Village Attorney, Administrator, Clerk, and Mayor also each added a flower to a vase.
Mayor Eidam, adding the final rose, carried the vase to Trustee Manno’s widow Kathleen Manno, who sat in attendance with daughters Dana, Renee, and Nikki in the boardroom. After the presentation of flowers and a moment of silence, Mayor Eidam spoke of Trustee Michael Manno’s dedication to service:
“Trustee Michael Manno dedicated his life to helping others, especially the people of Lansing. His service to our village through our public works department, police department, and partnering with our fire department, compared to no others. Even after retirement, his volunteerism to village government through the beautification committee, along with [his wife] Kathy, and countless other activities, set the standards high for the rest of us.
“Trustee Michael Manno was an elected official serving all the residents of our village for only seven years, one month, and twenty-one days — not long enough. He represented his constituents extremely well and always listened with compassion and understanding.
“Michael was a true gentleman. His charm and quick sense of humor made us all feel at ease. Mike was a loving husband, an amazing father, an adoring grandfather, a village leader, a positive role model, a loyal friend, and he lived each day with optimism, purpose, and love.
“We can celebrate Mike and his love for Lansing by living by the example he set for all of us.”
Mayor Eidam then shared a prepared message from Trustee Manno’s wife Kathleen and her family:
“Words cannot express the absolute heartbreak and utter emptiness of a life without Michael; however, when people we love pass away, we continue to live on. They continue to live on in our memories. I don’t think that Mike realized just how many people he touched in his 68 years. My daughters and I found solace and comfort in the kind words you sent our way, and we are so appreciative of the Mike stories you shared with us.
“Thank you to Mayor Eidam, the village trustees, and the administrative staff, the Lansing Police Department, the Lansing Fire Department and Paramedics, Chief Murrin and Chief Kooyenga, Public Works Department, and Neal Murphy and the LNN crew for organizing and coordinating the wonderful service and memorial in Mike’s honor. Mike loved Lansing and was so proud to have been of service to its residents. He would have been in awe of the Honor Guard, the Memorial Service, and his final escort to Assumption Cemetery. May his life of service inspire you and others to follow suit. Bless you and be well.
–Kathy and the Manno family.”
The video below shows the ceremony, though filming started after Trustee Jerry Zeldenrust had placed his flower in the vase. The ceremony included, in order, Trustee Zeldenrust, Trustee Maureen Grady-Perovich, Trustee Brian Hardy, Trustee Saad Abbasy, Trustee Mike Fish, Village Attorney Erin Blake, Village Administrator Dan Podgorski, Village Clerk Vivian Payne, and Mayor Patty Eidam bringing the vase to Kathy Manno: