Lonnie Norman, the mayor of a Manchester, Tennessee, died Monday morning after being hospitalized for COVID-19 earlier this month.
He was 79 years old.
“Today we share in the sorrow of a great loss to our community,” the mayor’s office said on Monday. “Mayor Lonnie J. Norman was a dedicated servant to the people of Manchester for several years.”
Norman was the first Black mayor of Manchester, serving in the early ‘90s and again since 2012.
“It is said that when your work speaks for itself-let it. Mayor Lonnie Norman’s eight decades on this planet were filled with work that testifies to both his accomplishments and his values,” said his family in a release. “He spent 40 years with Arnold Engineering Development complex, retiring as a technician supervisor. In 1984 he entered public office and in 1991, Norman became the first Black mayor of Manchester, Tennessee. His friends and neighbors returned him to the mayor’s office four times—an act of trust for which he was immensely grateful. In his numerous campaigns for public office, he never lost a political race. He loved his hometown and they loved him.
“COVID-19 is real and it took our beloved Lonnie Norman from us. To his fellow public officials, we say please remember your duty to keep the public safe. To our fellow citizens, we say please wear a mask, practice physical distancing and protect public health and each other.”
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be sent to St. Jude Children’s hospital and/or Bonnaroo Works Fund.