AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Amherst Town Manager John Musante died Sunday morning at the age of 53. His death came as a surprise in the Hampshire County community, where he has managed day-to-day operations in the town for the last five years. On Monday, several colleges and community organizations paid tribute to him.
The following statements have been released to 22News:
From Amherst Together:
John was a truly kind and thoughtful man with a huge heart and wonderful sense of humor. His commitment and capacity to work towards bettering the community for all surpassed any of the challenges that come with such a task. John was greatly respected and loved by many. Our community feels tremendous loss. We are holding his family in our hearts. May we all be so thankful for the opportunity to have had such a caring and devoted leader.”
From Superintendent of Schools Maria Geryk:
As Superintendent of Schools, I was extremely fortunate to work with John Musante. He was an unwavering supporter of the Amherst and Regional Schools who understood the intrinsic value of the schools, not just to our children, but to the community as a whole. John was a consummate professional, but he was also joyful and fun to work with. Our schools had the pleasure of serving his children so we knew him not just as an extraordinary Town Manager, but as a parent, his most cherished role. My heart goes out to his family and to his closest colleagues at Amherst Town Hall.”
From Amherst College President Biddy Martin:
John’s friends and admirers at Amherst College are stunned and deeply saddened by his passing. He was a champion of the Town of Amherst and a devoted public servant whose impact will be felt for a very long time. John was wonderfully collaborative in his work with the College and helped make Amherst one of the country’s most vibrant and appealing towns for students. We have lost an effective leader and beloved member of the community. Our hearts go out to his family and close friends.”
From UMass Student Government Association President Sionan Barrett:
I have so many fond memories working with John throughout my years in Amherst as part of SGA. He let me do interviews with him for my journalism classes, and always made time to meet with me when I had an idea for town/UMass collaborations. I will remember him as a kind, patient and understanding person who just wanted to make the world a little better.
John would constantly remind me that he prioritized UMass students in his work, because he believed Amherst was a second home for our students for the short time in their lives that they would spend here.
Thank you John for being a friend and an advocate.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”