Michael Vito Manno, 56, of Grand Prairie, Texas, formerly of Hackettstown, passed peacefully on Saturday, June 30, 2018 after a tragic accident. Michael was born in Newton Hospital (NJ) on December 2, 1961. He was the son of the late Helene Gawdun (1962) and the late Fortunato Manno (1977). He was also preceded in death by his mom, Sandra Cudney Manno, (2012).
Mike grew up on East Baldwin Street in Hackettstown. He was a 1980 graduate of Hackettstown High School where he played both football and basketball. He graduated from Paul Smith College in New York State in 1984, majoring in forestry and survey.
He later moved to Utah where he met the love of his life, JoAnn Nichols. Together they moved to Arizona and then on to Texas. Mike worked next to his wife JoAnn, at Desert Steel Co., Inc., their company based in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, which installs reinforcing steel and post-tensioning for large commercial, industrial, and heavy construction projects. The company has been responsible for many Texas projects including the New Dallas Cowboys Stadium and Headquarters, The Rangers Ball Park in Arlington, two Dallas Convention Center expansions, Airport terminals, hangars, and parking garages at DFW International Airport, Southwest Airlines Love Field, Austin Bergstrom and San Antonio Airports. Since 1990 their company has constructed multiple headquarters buildings, hotels, high rise residential living condominiums, hospitals, clinics, schools, water treatment plants, pipeline work, highway, and multi-use facilities across the State.
Mike loved NFL hockey, golfing, boating, the beach, Jimmy Buffet music, his toes in the sand, laughter, and smoking a good cigar. He was always joking around, had stories to tell, and lived life to the fullest. Mike’s great passion was his love of dogs. He had a soft spot in his heart for the abandoned and neglected dogs who were in high kill shelters and on death row. Around his work at Desert Steel, Michael and his crew volunteered at Harleys Angels Sanctuary in Florence, Texas, a nonprofit organization for rescued dogs deemed unadoptable due to temperament, age, or breed. Mike and his men constructed cottages and runs for the dogs and found like minded people from the other construction trades to help. Mike fostered for Rescues located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, the Midwest and on the West Coast and helped so many dogs go on to find their forever homes. Along with his ongoing commitment to Harleys Angels Sanctuary, Mike would pick up shelter dogs, transport, vet, and volunteer for numerous other Rescues as well.
In addition to his wife of 36 years, JoAnn, Mike is survived by his brother Jim (Diane) Manno of Hackettstown, NJ and his sister, Ann (Paul) Greszczak of Hackettstown, Chris (Michael) Anzalone of Blairsville, Georgia. and by his brothers-in-law, Jack (Barbara) Scanlon, Post Falls, Idaho, Jeff (Rhonda) Scanlon, Liberty Lake Washington, Wayne (Linda) Scanlon, Fort Worth, Texas and sister-in-law Kathleen (Richard) Zobell, Warrenton, Oregon.
“Uncle Mike” is also survived by his nieces and nephews John, (Amy) McConnell, Dawn, (Mike) Simonetta, Bethany Manno, Diane Manno, Teri(Matt) McClure, Lori (Dan) Greszczak, Charles (Casey) Merrell, Elizabeth (Joseph) Christian, Andrea Rachelle (Dereck) Lorico, Alexandra (Zach) Phillips, Alan Scanlon, Michelle (Fabian) Scanlon, Jennifer (Aaron) Vidal, and Nicole (John) South, and also great nieces and nephews, JB, Moria, Ty, Madison, Alana, Talon, Mathew, Olivia, Carson, Cameron, Gabe, Adam, Jake, Jeremiah, and Marie.
Michael also left numerous friends both in Hackettstown and throughout Texas. Especially close, Clint Campbell and Guadalupe Villarreal are feeling the heavy pain of loss. The family wishes to thank all of Mike’s friends for their kindness, support and prayers during this time.
A Mass of Remembrance will be held at Our Lady of the Mountain Church, East Springtown Rd., Long Valley, on Saturday, July 28th at 7 pm. A celebration of Mike’s life will follow at the Columbus Club, Liberty Street in Hackettstown.
Donations in Mike’s memory may be made to Harleys Angels Sanctuary Rescue, 6170 Highway 138, Florence, Texas 76527 https://harleysangelssanctuary.org or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Harleysangelssanctuary/
As a tribute to Mike with his picture to inspire you, dress like you're going to Jimmy Buffett! Pot Luck - Bring a dish. Open/Cask Bar.