Few Carroll County commissioners have been as dedicated to their constituents the way Roger Mann was, according to his former colleague Ned Cueman.
Cueman, the county's planning director from 1971 to 1995, said though Mann accomplished a lot during his two-term tenure from 1974-1982, he will be remembered most for his work ethic and his devotion to those who elected him.
"He had a huge heart and he was energized by people," Cueman said. "He was a man of the people; that's what he was."
Mann died Tuesday at a retirement community in Hanover, Pa. The former Westminster resident was born in Finksburg and was a lifelong entrepreneur, operating various produce stands throughout the county and was the owner of Mann's Cider Mill in Westminster.
He is survived by a son, Roger Larry Mann, a sister, Betty Mann Wiley, devoted friend Gladys Morelock, and nieces and nephews Kenny Mann, Joyce Crigger, Jerry Mann, Debbie Munshower, Cindy Lewis and Sandy Magnante, according to his funeral notice.
Mann, a Democrat, chose to run for a seat on the Board of Commissioners because of his desire to help the residents of the county, Cueman said.
"One of the things that distinguished him, and I think all of his colleagues would agree, he put a very high priority on his constituents," Cueman said. "He was so popular throughout the county because he made the people's business his business."
The time period during which Mann served is known as a period of growth for the county, Cueman said.
The current county office building in Westminster was built during his tenure, and land was acquired that became the future home of the Carroll Hospital Center, the Westminster Senior Center and Carroll Springs School, which specializes in educating children with disabilities.
At the same time, land was acquired for the construction of the Carroll County Regional Airport and the Westminster Air Business Center.
Mann was also commissioner during the founding of Carroll Community College, which was originally a satellite campus for Catonsville Community College. He helped bring about the establishment of the Westminster Air Business Center, and the commissioners at the time ushered in a new technological age for by funding the first computer system for county government.
Other achievements during his tenure include the construction of the Piney Run Reservoir and Nature Center, the Hashawa Environmental Center, the Northern Landfill, which is still in use today, and the Carroll County Detention Center.
"If you wanted to see a comprehensive list [of his accomplishments] it would go on and on," Cueman said. "These are just some of the bigger ticket things that mean so much to the county."
After his retirement from the Board of Commissioners, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for the state Senate. Cueman said Mann was encouraged by people both inside and out of the county to run for the seat.
"He was well-respected by many people in all 23 counties," Cueman said. "They told him, 'you ought to run for this,' and he was always open to a challenge."
Jo Hochheimer, of Lineboro, said she was a long time business associate of Mann's. While Mann operated the Cider Mill, she was part owner of Black Rock Orchard and what began as a business relationship turned into a great friendship, Hochheimer said.
"Roger was always a kind and happy and helpful person," she said.
Mann cared about his constituents in a way that is rare, Hochheimer said. At one time during his tenure as commissioner, the county Health Department shut down a small grocery store in Westminster. The man who owned the store, Hochheimer said, called Mann for guidance. Mann took the time to visit the store and even helped him prepare the grocery for another visit by the health department. It was soon reopened in large part due to Mann's intervention, she said.
"He was out to help the citizens of Carroll County because he really cared about the county," Hochheimer said. "I was very sorry to hear that he had died, but he lived a good life."
Mann's family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, at Fletchers Funeral & Cremation Services, 254 E. Main St., Westminster. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, at the funeral home.