Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman dies of COVID-19

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Posted at 5:34 AM, Oct 12, 2020

MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WTVF) — Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman has died after contracting COVID-19.

Norman was hospitalized at the beginning of the month for the virus and died early October 12.

The announcement was made on his Facebook page early Monday morning.

In a statement from the Norman family, it reads in part that “COVID-19 is real and it took our beloved Lonnie Norman from us.”

He was a man loved and honored by so many says alderman Ryan French.

"He was very much my mentor," said French, "He talked me off several ledges and he taught me so much just about the importance of understanding and being diplomatic."

Now the building where Norman has worked in for decades has ribbons on the door to remember his life while flags are flying half staff.

French says Norman was more than a politician, he was family.

"He was very much considered family in our house and I like to think we were considered family to his."

First serving as mayor in 1991 and again in 2012, Norman became the city's first black mayor.

His accomplishments range from a new sports complex, revitalizing downtown, supporting small businesses to Bonnaroo, which draws in thousands of people to Manchester each year.

His family would say his greatest work was being a husband, father, grandfather and friend. One day after his death, rapper and producer Kanye West tweeted about the loss of Mayor Norman.

As of Sunday, 2,767 Tennesseans have lost their lives from COVID-19.