The military mother from Doylestown, Pa. who took the pain from her son’s death while serving his country and turned it into a foundation dedicated to remembering fallen heroes and assisting their families has died. Janet Manion was 58.
On Tuesday Manion lost her battle with cancer while surrounded by family, according to a press release from the Travis Manion Foundation.
Manion founded the Travis Manion Foundation after a memorial fund to honor her son Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion became more than a fund just to help one family.
"The Foundation's Mission is to assist our nation's veterans and the families of Fallen Heroes. We will continue the service to community and country exemplified by these Fallen Heroes and veterans. In the spirit of the Fallen, we will foster strength of mind and body to create a generation of future leaders."
Travis was killed April 29, 2007 while serving in Iraq. He was 26.
Before leaving he told his mother he was going back because “If not me, then who…” That message became the inspiration for the foundation.
The foundation also paired injured veterans with families who lost a loved one at war.
"It was a natural fit," Janet told NBC10's Doug Shimell last year. "It helped the families heal as well as the disabled or wounded veterans."
Besides her work with the foundation, Janet Manion served on the Advisory Commission of Arlington National Cemetery, on the board of the Village Improvement Association of Doylestown and was a Gold Star family member.
She is survived by her husband Col. Tom Manion (Ret.), a daughter, Ryan Manion Borek, Ryan’s husband, David Borek, and granddaughters Maggie and Honor Borek.
A viewing for Manion will be held Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Reed & Steinbach Funeral Home on Lower State Road in Doylestown. A second viewing will be held Saturday morning at Our Lady of Mount Carmel on E State Street in Doylestown with mass to follow at 11 a.m.
Funeral plans are pending.
In lieu of flowers the family is asking for contributions to be made in Manion’s name to the Travis Manion Foundation.