BAILEYVILLE – Brian L. Manza, 59, passed away Monday, Dec. 22, 2008, at Kindred Hospital, Peabody, Mass., after a long and courageous battle against Agent Orange. Brian was born June 11, 1949, in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, the son of the late Elizabeth (Bires) Manza and Louis Manza, both of Baileyville. After graduating from Woodland High School in 1967, Brian entered the U.S. Army, 1967-1969. He did a tour of duty in Vietnam with Co C5th Battalion (M), 60th Infantry and 1st Infantry Division, Tet Offensive. After returning, Brian attended college at the University of Maine at Machias, graduating in 1973. While in high school, the service and college, Brian played basketball, ran cross-country and boxed. He set numerous records for basketball and cross-country at Woodland High School. In 1967, he was State High School Cross-Country Champion. He ran the Boston Marathon and Pike’s Peak and was on the U.S. Army Fort Carson boxing and running teams. Brian was president of Sunrise County Roadrunners, a representative of state of Maine for BRAVO, member of W.T. Wren Post No. 123 American Legion, Baileyville, AAU, DAV of Orrington, and was founder and president of The Washington (Sunrise) County Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He enjoyed spending time at his place on Meddybemps Lake and in the Southwest U.S. Brian is survived by his brother, Joseph Manza and wife, Jane, of Alexander; two nephews, Christopher of Alexander and Jason of Brewer; and a half brother, Ralph Manza of Baileyville. He was special to many people and will be remembered by his dear aunts, uncles, cousins and numerous other family members. Brian will be missed by his special friends, Jim, Mike,Charlie, Billy, Cecil, Jeff, Richard, Linda, Anne, Ivan and the Bohanon boys. Special thanks go to the staff of NHCU 73 and the intensive care unit of Togus. He was their “hero.” Brian joins his two beloved dogs who were his loyal companions throughout the years, Duke, who went to college with Brian and ran beside him in his road races; and Sandy, who had served as his and his mother’s guardian angel throughout her life with them. Brian never stopped fighting the war in Vietnam. He dedicated his life to actively educating people about Agent Orange. He kept fighting so those that were affected by and died from Agent Orange, and their children, would have hope and recognition. His perseverance and fortitude helped him fight the fight for 40 years. Through donations, Brian had erected two large stones in the Veteran’s Park in Baileyville that represent two pages torn from a history book that contains theses words: “This stone is to serve as a reminder of our profound gratitude to the proud brave men and women of Washington (Sunrise) County Maine. To those who served, To those who died, To those still missing, and to those still suffering physically as well as psychologically as a result of their service to the nation in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. July 8, 1959 – May 15, 1975. This stone commemorates those veterans of the Vietnam War who died not by enemy action but rather by their exposure to the toxic chemicals used by our forces against the enemy as defoliants. We hereby commemorate those who fell and those who continue to fall from the devastating effects of those toxins. May this memorial serve as a gesture of compassion to their families. We pray that the horror and destruction unleashed by the use of such lethal substances will never be repeated. “A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterward.” Theodore Roosevelt. At the request of the family, a memorial service will be held at a date to be announced in the spring. Donations in memory of Brian may be made to Ronald McDonald House of Bangor, 654 State St., Bangor, ME 04401. Arrangements by Mays Funeral Home, Calais and Eastport. Condolences and memories may be made at www.maysfuneralhome.com.
BRIAN L. MANZA
Posted Dec. 23, 2008, at 7:42 p.m.