March 9, 2019
Thomas S. Mann III
SARASOTA, FL – Thomas S. “Sid” Mann III, formerly of Athol, Massachusetts, took his last Whistle-Stop Tour on Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 while passing away peacefully with his loving wife Sandra by his side.
Sid was educated in Orange, Massachusetts, schools and graduated from New Salem Academy. He then went on to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Miami, where he trained as an Airframe & Power Plant Tech. After obtaining his FAA license, he eventually returned to the family business in Athol.
Following his father’s passing in 1976, 9th generation lumberman Sid owned and operated the well-respected T.S. Mann Lumber Company that was vital to the community. In 2002, his son Tom Mann took over as President when Sid moved to Sarasota, Florida, where he worked as a building supervisor. He also drove a CDL Priority Mail truck until his retirement in 2015. Since Sid let no grass grow under his feet, he kept busy volunteering at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, and also at the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish, FL, where he married Sandra in 2015 while standing on one of the famous locomotives. He and best man, Ed Conkey, both wore coveralls and railroad engineer caps.
Sid was always a pillar of the community. He was the youngest Athol Selectman on record, and served for decades on numerous town committees—even running for State Senate. When a local community service organization asked for something, Sid gave it his all. He was a past president and a longstanding member of Camp Cheneo, and he was VP of the New Salem Academy Board of Trustees, and a trustee for 20+ years.
Sid will be well remembered for his love of trains—he had enough railroad memorabilia to fill a museum. He was once owner of the Athol Depot, as well as owner of a full size locomotive and caboose. He often based summer family vacations on where a certain steam locomotive would be—traveling by Amtrak around the country. He was also known for his love of Corvettes; teaching his first wife Janet how to drive a standard in his ‘63 Split Window Coupe. Also, it was anecdotally known that one of his best friends, Peter Gerry, started his tire business after seeing Sid burn-out tires in his ‘Vettes.
Sid was proud of his recent induction into the society of the Sons of the American Revolution. His family roots ran about as deep as they get in Massachusetts and American History. His ancestor, English born Richard Man (1611-1655), was an early settler of Plymouth Colony. Richard's grandson Ensign settled in Petersham, MA. Ensign II attended Harvard and was the leader of the Petersham branch of the Sons of Liberty, the organization responsible for the Boston Tea Party protest. Sid’s 4th great grandfather, Lieutenant Luther Holland of Petersham, marched to Lexington, and was actually within earshot of the Shot Heard ‘Round the World.
Sid leaves his loving wife, Sandra Mann, and her son Jonathan and daughter Stephanie and her husband Moses. He leaves three sons, Tom and his wife Theresa of Athol, Eric of Orlando, FL, and Casey of West Palm Beach, FL; also, his first wife Janet, of Athol and sister, Elizabeth Fountain of Orange, MA.
He was pre-deceased by his parents Thomas S. Mann Jr, & Alice Williams. Additionally, he leaves two granddaughters Mackenzie and Jessica, as well as many cousins, nieces, & nephews. Many folks simply referred to him as “Uncle Sid.”
Education of our youth was important to Sid. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Athol High School Scholarship Association, P.O. Box 338, Athol MA 01331, or the Orange High School Alumni Scholarship Fund, c/o Orange Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 298 Orange, MA 01364.
Calling hours will be held Thursday March 14th, 2019 from 4-7 p.m. at Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange.
The funeral service will be conducted at Witty’s Funeral Home on Friday, March 15th at 11 a.m.
You may offer sympathy and remembrances online at www.wittyfuneralhome.com, or on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sid.mann.94.