Manchester, Tennessee Mayor Lonnie J. Norman has passed away at the age of 79 after a bout with COVID-19.
"With a deep sense of sadness and loss, we announce the passing of Mayor Lonnie Norman after being hospitalized for COVID-19 on October 1, 2020," the mayor's office wrote.
Norman had spent much of the month hospitalized after contracting the virus. As of October 14, the state has reported more than 218,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 3,000 COVID-19 related deaths.
"Mayor Norman passed away in the early hours of Monday, October 12, 2020, after a valiant fight against COVID-19," the mayor's officer added.
Prior to be electing mayor, Norman worked for four decades as the technician supervisor for the Arnold Engineer Development Complex. In 1991, he was elected as the first Black mayor of Manchester. Just two months earlier, he was elected for another term as mayor. During his tenure, he secured funding for a recreation complex and supported the city's Bonnaroo Music Festival.
"Mayor Lonnie Norman’s eight decades on this planet were filled with work that testifies to both his accomplishments and his values," his family stated.
“Without question Lonnie Norman’s greatest accomplishments were as father to Virginia, Deborah, Priscilla, Lonnie, Jr. and grandfather to Brandi Sails and Kandi Guest. The entire family wishes to thank the people of Manchester, Coffee County, and the state of Tennessee for their support during this difficult time."
In his passing, Vice Mayor Marilyn Howard will take over as mayor. Norman was taken to Central Funeral Home where services were held.
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