July 12, 2024

Donald Edward MacManus

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Donald Edward MacManus, 76, of Seekonk, Massachusetts passed away on May 2, 2024 after being struck by a vehicle during a bike ride on a beautiful spring afternoon. Don always had a firm handle on what mattered in life – his family, his friends, finding the best price at Market Basket and hopping on his bike whenever possible.

Don was born in Providence to the late Robert MacManus and Claire (Bigoness) MacManus. He was the third son of their four boys and grew up playing in his Darlington neighborhood. The first time he ever boarded a plane was to fly out to Eugene, Oregon to begin his undergraduate degree in Journalism at the University of Oregon.

He returned to Rhode Island in the summer of 1968 to be an intern at the then Pawtucket Times. While there he met a chatty colleague named Lydia Sabatini who offered him plenty of unsolicited instruction. Don’s unassuming demeanor was a perfect match for her enthusiastic bossiness and that summer of laughter led to a fifty-year marriage rooted in friendship and humor.

They settled down in Seekonk in 1978 and Don spent the early 80's working for the Sun Chronicle as a reporter, earning his law degree at Suffolk Law School and becoming a dad to his two daughters. And for the last four decades he’s been enjoying the life he so carefully crafted. He loved being a lawyer, he loved riding his bike, he loved being married to Lydia and he loved being a Dad and more recently a grandfather to his four grandchildren.

Everyone who met Don was happy they did. He had a calm, warm presence and was always willing to help if he could. He loved reading history books and listening to Simon and Garfunkel. When he sang he sounded like a Beach Boy and he’d often sing “I love a parade…..” while he made himself breakfast in the early mornings. Just the first line though. We’re not sure if he knew the rest.

He was always there when anyone needed him. Since his passing, countless people have reached out to share examples of when he helped them through a difficult time – whether it be a complicated legal matter or a flat tire on the bike path. Don always showed up and always helped out. He was a hero in a lot of stories.

Don was typically the smartest person in the room. However, due to his unpretentious nature and quiet disposition you might not notice - until he explained a complicated concept with ease or dropped in a razor sharp one-liner. His dry wit often resulted with an entire room erupting in laughter while Don sat quietly, smiling only with his eyes.

The impact he had on his community was quiet yet vast. His grandchildren will miss piling on him to read books, his bike friends will miss him chatting about his family and what his daughters were up to during rides, his nieces will miss his phone calls checking in on them, his clients will miss his warm guidance through tough decisions, his daughters will miss his steady support and the way he made them laugh their whole lives, and his wife will miss her best friend. Don took care of everyone in his circle. And still always found time for a bike ride.  

Don is survived by his wife Lydia MacManus of Seekonk, daughter Jessica MacManus and husband Leland Crawford of Wrentham, MA and daughter Alicia MacManus and husband Andy Northrup of Seekonk, MA. He also leaves behind his brother John MacManus and wife, Sandra, and niece Kirsten Westfield and husband, Matt – all of Seekonk, nephew Scott MacManus of Utah, niece Cathy DelPonte of Somerville and niece Lori MacManus of Salem. He is also survived by his sister-in-law and husband, Trisha and Phil Shea of Mansfield, MA and nieces, Megan Selchan of Quincy, MA and Heather Richards of Braintree, MA. Don was predeceased by his brothers, Robert “Alan” MacManus and Jeffrey MacManus. 

And finally, his grandchildren who were so lucky to have him, even for a short time – Finn, Lydia, Julian and Milo.

Calling hours will be held this Saturday, May 11th from 2:00 - 5:00 PM in the Manning-Heffern-O’Neill Funeral Home at 220 Cottage Street, Pawtucket, RI. A Celebration of Life will follow at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Red Shed – a Rhode Island nonprofit dedicated to making biking accessible to kids and families. Be sure to include Don’s name to ensure your donation goes to the cycling program.

In closing, please excuse any typos in the above obituary as Don was the family proofreader.

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