Francis "Hick" C. Manner, former Sykesville mayor and decorated World War II veteran, died Saturday of cancer at Continuum Care at Sykesville. He was 80.
Mr. Manner, a Democrat, was a member of the Sykesville Town Council from 1967 until 1971. He served as mayor of the Carroll County town from 1971 to 1973.
During the early 1990s, he was a member of the town's board of zoning appeals, according to Matthew H. Candland, Sykesville town manager.
"He was a gentleman through and through and always very involved in town affairs," Mr. Candland said yesterday.
Lloyd Helt, mayor of Sykesville from 1981 to 1993, said, "He was very pro-active in keeping Sykesville a town when there were those who wanted to turn in the town's charter. He fought the good battle there and I think most folks were grateful for it. He'd vote for a yellow dog if he was a Democrat."
Mr. Manner's daughter Judith Sharon Forthman of Sykesville described her father as a "charming Irishman [who] didn't keep his opinions to himself right or wrong."
"For years, he used to collect old toys with several other men and then spent time repairing and repainting them," said Ms. Forthman, remembering the times her father would dress as Santa Claus and visit children during the holidays. "They would give them to needy children in the community."
Born and raised on a farm near Ellicott City, Mr. Manner was a graduate of St. Louis Parochial School in Clarksville.
During World War II, he served as an infantryman with the 29th Division and landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He was discharged with the rank of staff sergeant at war's end and his decorations included the Bronze Star.
He was a member of Sykesville American Legion Post 213 and American Legion Post 9952.
Mr. Manner worked for many years as an oil-burner and air-conditioning technician for Fleming Oil Service and Wilhelm Oil Co. before retiring in the early 1980s. After retiring, he drove a Carroll County school bus for several years.
He was a member of Knights of Columbus Council 7612, a fourth-degree Knights of Columbus of Cardinal Gibbons Council and a past president of the Holy Name Society.
He enjoyed boating, hunting and fishing.
He was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Mellor Avenue and Sandosky Road, Sykesville, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Dorothy Evelyn Hughes; a son, Terence Cyril Manner of New Windsor; a second daughter, Trudie C. Battaglia of Woodbine; five sisters, Agnes Abel of Louisville, Carroll County, Alberta Cavey of Columbia and Katherine Snow, Marie O'Donnell and Theresa Garland, all of Ellicott City; six grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
Sun editorial assistant Ellie Baublitz contributed to this article.