A longtime Howell public servant has passed away, after being honored in the record of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was described as a “local legend,”and a “visionary.”
The comments by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) were entered into the Congressional Record on Thursday for Steve Manor, who was part of the Howell community for more than 50 years as an educator, city councilmember, and advocate for diversity and empathetic governance.
Manor passed away Friday, his 82nd birthday.
Manor, who resigned from Howell City Council last month after 23 years, announced last month that he had terminal cancer and was being treated in hospice.
“Universally beloved, Manor is the rare figure who bridges all divides: political, social, and generational,” said Slotkin in the tribute. “As he comes to the end of his earthly journey, his faithful dedication to Howell has ensured that his imprint will forever rest on the city. It is likewise my privilege to ensure that the life of this history teacher is permanently enshrined in the history of this nation.”
Slotkin then went on to describe Manor’s career as a young educator who “first walked through the doors of Howell’s Michigan Avenue School in 1966,” later teaching at Highlander Way Middle School and then Howell High School, before retiring in 1998 after 32 years in the classroom.
Manor then turned to public service, winning a seat on Howell City Council in 1999.
“Over the next 23 years he served in a variety of roles, including mayor pro tem, chair of the Howell Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and as Howell’s delegate to the South East Michigan Council of Governments,” noted Slotkin. “Through it all, he conducted himself exactly how a non-partisan elected official should: always looking beyond politics to the city’s best interests.”
Slotkin said Manor had “advocated for much-needed investments in infrastructure, worked with developers to make the city more business-friendly, helped revitalize an old alleyway into a picturesque shopping district, and worked with a local company to turn an unused patch of land into a whimsical children’s playscape. And somehow he found time to volunteer with dozens of local organizations and causes, including Howell Rotary, Howell Main Street, and the Countryside Veterinary Dog Park.”
But as much as he loved the city, Slotkin said Manor “was the first to recognize its flaws, and also the first to roll up his sleeves to make improvements,” noting he helped start the Howell High School Diversity Club in 1987 in response to a cross burning in the city, and then served for many years on the Livingston County Diversity Council, where he was “deeply committed to helping the city work rid itself from intolerance and bigotry.”
Slotkin said Manor had “bravely battled cancer for the past five years, and a servant to the very end, still attended City Council meetings even after requiring home hospice care.”
She said his departure from Howell City Council left a “void no election or appointment can ever fill.”
“Manor once said that Howell is a special place because unlike some surrounding communities, it has “a core.” That core — a vibrant downtown, healthy neighborhoods, a thriving community — didn’t just happen. It happened because Steve Manor worked to make it so,” stated Slotkin. “I submit that Steve Manor IS the core of Howell: a rock solid core of selfless service, cultivating seeds of integrity, and bearing fruit for generations to come.”
Slotkin then concluded that because of those accomplishments and career of public service, she entered “his life of principled leadership into the official record of the United States House of Representatives. It’s an example we would all do well to study and commit to memory: the enduring final lesson plan of Steve Manor, beloved teacher.”