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Erie shows love to Luther Manus '53, '71M

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I’ve heard those words from Luther Manus ’53 ’71M hundreds of times during my 31-year career at the Erie Times-News.

Manus frequently visited the Erie Times-News offices over the years to speak with myself or colleagues. The U.S. Army veteran, teacher, educator and business owner had a voracious interest in what was happening in town, especially when it came to education and children.

So he would often stop by West 12th and Sassafras to chat with folks and find out. And Manus was always funny, gracious, inquisitive and pleasant.

Sometimes I would run into him at the business he founded, Manus Sunoco at 26 E. 12th St., when I stopped for gas.

On his turf, the conversations were often more extensive — about race, class, politics, sports or our families. But Manus was never too busy to chat, often injecting an insightful anecdote about his time working with students at the Erie School District or telling me that he appreciated a piece I’d recently written.

Manus, now 92, always makes me both smile and contemplate when we encounter each other.

Clearly, I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Erie City Council recently approved a resolution that proclaims Sept. 20 as “Luther Manus Jr. Day in Erie for 2020 and for perpetuity.”

The resolution states that Manus “served our country as a sergeant in the U.S. Army; earned two degrees from Gannon University after leaving high school to serve in the Army; has counseled countless numbers of students in the Erie School District to help them achieve their dreams of going to college; has volunteered his time and talents to numerous community organizations, including the Youth Leadership Institute of Erie; and has contributed to the city of Erie’s downtown business economy as the founder of Manus Enterprises.“

City Council also gave props to Erie Arts & Culture and local artists Caesar Westbrook and Antonio Howard for creating a vibrant new mural outside Manus Sunoco that celebrates his life and was part of a public art project overseen by Erie Arts & Culture that provides opportunities for minority artists.

If you haven’t seen the mural, check it out. It’s a fabulous piece of work, a celebration that Manus both deserves and would never ask for himself.

And it’s all very cool. Because Manus has respected, appreciated and helped nurture Erie in myriad ways during his rich life.

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Posted by Michael Gorski at 07/29/2021 02:51:13 PM | 

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