Former Broome County Executive Don McManus Dies at 79

By Adam Chick

November 22, 2012 Updated Nov 22, 2012 at 12:25 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Former Broome County Executive Don McManus passed away Tuesday night surrounded by his family. He was 79 years old.

Most people will remember Don McManus as the first Democratic Broome County Executive. But his family learned from him the values of a quaint life.

"My dad led a very simple life with very simple principles. He was committed to his God, he was committed to his family, he was committed to public service," said Kevin McManus, Don's son.

Don's family described him as a man who was always ready to help others, and a man who shunned the spotlight. Making him the perfect candidate to hold public office.

"I think he was a great fit for it because he was just a born leader. He was just always so community involved, always so active with everybody. And just a great, great father," said Don's son Ed McManus.

A lifetime resident of Endicott, McManus also held the position of Town of Union supervisor. In 1982, he was the acting New York Secretary of State. He was also extremely proud to work with Governor Mario Cuomo.

But his first and foremost priority was always his family.

"My dad was very involved in every part of our life. He was very hands on. And he really felt family was first," said Don's daughter, Kim Crandall.

Don's Grandson, Kevin, enjoyed spending countless hours with his Grandfather building models. Inevitably a bit of Don rubbed off on Kevin Jr. Inspired by the former politician, Kevin Jr ran for class president.

He may have lost, but the desire for public service and the memory of his Grandfather remain.

"I'll never forget my Grandpa," said Kevin Jr.

McManus is survived by his Wife, Kathleen, six children, and 14 grandchildren.

"His legacy never will die. He's going to be alive with us forever," said Kevin McManus.