In a small autobiography published after completing his last mayoral term in 2001, Arkie Albanese wrote it was during his school years when he really "came to life."
"In the fourth grade, [teacher] Irene Farnham sat me down and told me I could conquer the world. She taught me to read better and gave me the push I needed to get started," Arkie wrote. "Then in high school, [teacher] Esther Brown [Lamaroux] brought me down to earth and stabilized me. She saw my potential and disciplined me to get my work done."
And work he did complete -- lots of it.
Arkie, the beloved former mayor of Manlius, first held office in 1964 as a Manlius village trustee. He served in that seat for 12 years until he was elected mayor in 1978 where he served the public for another 23 years. During his long political tenure, he helped make Manlius what it is today.
"He's left a lasting imprint," said Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin. "He raised a bar for all of us to maintain for the village of Manlius. He's really left us a great village to be a steward of."
Angelo "Arkie" Albanese, 85, died in the early morning of July 15 of lung cancer. His fight lasted just shy of three months; he was diagnosed April 27, Easter Sunday.
"He went through a horrible ordeal but he fought right through the end," said youngest daughter Lisa Cunningham, who still resides in Manlius.
On July 4, Arkie, along with former mayors Ed Lowenstein and Rick Penhall, shared the title of grand marshall for the annual village parade. Not one to disappoint, Arkie was released from the hospital for a few hours in order to ride in the parade.
"I had the privilege of talking to Arkie during the Fourth of July parade in Manlius a couple weeks ago," said former supervisor Hank Chapman. "While he was sick and in his last days, he was still the same strong, distinguished gentleman I have known all of these years."