Friends Remember Historian Who Died Tragically

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SUMMIT HILL -- The friends and family of Lee Mantz are remembering him Tuesday night, especially his work as an area historian.

Mantz, 44, died suddenly after falling thirty feet at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

His friends said his death is a shock but want him remembered for all the work he did in researching the history of Summit Hill, the place Mantz grew up.

“He loved this town,” said friend and family member David Wargo. “He loved his family, he was very devoted to his family and the borough and its history.”

Investigators said Mantz was biking at the park Sunday with his wife when he stopped to take a picture then slipped and fell to his death.

Carol Miller says Mantz`s loss will be felt heavily at the Summit Hill Historical Society where Mantz was president.

“Because of his avid search for knowledge and history from this area and the people that come in and look for their relatives, finds even more history that we didn`t know was here,” said Miller.

Miller said Mantz got the society’s historical museum up and running. He even wrote a book, titled “Summit Hill, Pennsylvania (images of America Series)”.

“It has so much history in it with photographs, from his collection and the museum that really defined what Summit Hill looked like,” said Wargo. “The book is an incredible piece of work. He really put his heart and soul into it.”

Miller and Wargo say Mantz also worked with them to restore and preserve G.A.R. Cemetery.

Miller said Mantz was thinking about writing two more books, something they discussed just days before his death.

“And we said goodbye and we had a hug,” said Miller. “But I had a blessing because I got to talk to Lee and tell him everything I wanted to tell him.”

Mantz`s family plans to bury Mantz at his family plot at G.A.R. Cemetery on Friday, the same cemetery he worked to preserve.