Diane Manton, wife of the late congressman and Queens Democratic Party Chairman Thomas Manton, died Monday, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) said in a statement. She was in her 80s.
“Diane was a passionate and caring person who touched many lives,” Crowley said. “She carried on Tom’s legacy with grace, and I am blessed to have considered her a friend.”
Diane Manton lived in Astoria. Crowley did not release a cause of death and Manton’s family could not be reached as of press time.
Community Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley described Diane as a partner of her husband Thomas, who served on the City Council before becoming a congressman for 14 years. He was Queens Democratic chairman until his death from prostate cancer in 2006.
But Diane Manton, who worked as a nurse at hospitals in Manhattan and Queens for many years, had a reputation as a neighborhood leader on her own terms.
“She was very engaged in Queens,” Conley said. “And she was a very gracious woman with her time.”
Conley said she took part in multiple community efforts in Woodside and helped with fund-raising and outreach for the Patricia Manning Memorial Fund for Childhood Cancer.
“She was very well-known in the community. She was a familiar face,” Conley said. “This comes as a big shock.”
Former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Jr., who lived on the street opposite the Mantons for many years, said Diane Manton never sought publicity, but was always there when needed and always behind her husband.
“The only good news is at last she’s going to be united with her beloved Tom,” Vallone said.
She had four children with her husband: Cathy Laurent, Thomas K. Manton, John Manton and Jeanne Manton.
Diane Manton’s wake was scheduled for Friday at Lynch’s Funeral Home, at 43-07 Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside. Visiting hours are from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Her mass will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church, at 21-47 29th St. in Astoria.
In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Wildlife Federation.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cn
©2013 Community News Group
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