Manuel “Manny” Tirado, Jr. (67) of Jersey City, N.J. passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, December 11, 2019 surrounded by family and loved ones following a brief illness.
Manny was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and moved with his family to Jersey City when he was still a child. Jersey City would soon become beloved to Manny. He flourished and remained a proud member of its community throughout the rest of his days.
As a boy, he attended Saint Mary’s School and St Bridget's Primary School; then, Ferris High School as a young man. He later attended New Jersey City University to earn his degree. Manuel faithfully served the city of Jersey City for 25 years in various positions at City Hall.
Manny was the inspiration for the phrase, “to know him is to love him” for his joyful affectations and spirit were infectious and undeniable to everyone who met him. Ever-ready with a good word and a smile, he brightened the lives of everyone who was lucky to call him family, friend, or neighbor.
When Manny spoke, everyone listened. Not only because of his large and magnanimous personality, but because of the loving way of expressing his genuine interest in your life. He was always focused on making others feel good about themselves, even when he might not have been feeling so good himself. He was self-effacing, generous, and humorous. He loved to laugh and spread that laughter to everyone within earshot of his charming and infectious voice.
Among his many remarkable qualities, his love of his family might be what defined him the most clearly. Manny lived for his family. He was an ever-reliable fixture at all family functions: birthdays, weddings, holidays, christenings, and visiting sick members of the family. He was always there when you needed him without ever having to be asked — during thick and thin.
Manny played softball for his uncles’ softball team at Rivera’s Lounge — a fixture in Downtown Jersey City for over thirty years. Whether on the softball field, basketball court, at a local watering hole, or community event. Manny enjoyed socializing and contributing to, and engaging with his community. He was gregarious and the life of every single room he entered. Where ever he was, his presence made that place an infinitely better one.
In addition to his social engagements, Manny took his community contributions very seriously. Manny was politically active and socially conscious as early as the 1970s. He was influential in local politics through his various positions at City Hall and grass-roots movements that were instrumental in speaking to the impact of gentrification, bilingual education, affordable housing, and the development and maintenance of political power for the disenfranchised and members of the lower and middle classes of Jersey City. His voice, legacy, and innumerable acts of kindness will be felt for many years to come.
His musical tastes were wide-ranging from rock bands like the Clash, the Beatles, and Yes, all the way to the Salsa of Eddie Palmieri and Fania, circling back around to Hip Hop. Many of his younger cousins, family members, and friends attribute their first musical exposure to Manny’s influence. He had a mind open to all of life’s experiences and was eager to share his joy and excitement with whoever seemed interested.
He is sorely missed by the loved ones he leaves behind. Among them are his mother, America Rivera, his brother, Louis Rivera, his sister, Anilda Tirado Ramos, countless cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends.
As per Manny’s wishes, he was cremated privately and will be laid to rest in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A memorial service will occur on January 18, 2020 at 11:30 AM at St. Mary's Church, 254 2nd Street, Jersey City.
To send flowers to Manuel's family, please visit our floral section.