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Richard James Manley, 65, Of White Plains

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Richard James Manley died Sunday, Sept. 27, at the age of 65.

He is survived by his fiancé, Heidi Halpine, of Long Island.

He and his wife planned to marry in the fall of 2016.

He is survived by his sisters and brothers-in-law, Janet and Bill Graham of Sleepy Hollow, and Christine and John Koziol, of Danbury, Conn.

He leaves behind nieces and nephews, Edmond and Arlene Manley, Mark and Linda Manley, Bill and Gloria Graham, Caroline and Hannes Thaler, Amy and Jamie O'Leary, Casey and John Grabowski and Jillian and Dale Kereczman.

His life began in Brooklyn in 1950.

The son of Edmond and Lillian Manley, he was born with a bone disease that required him to spend his days confined to a wheelchair.

After his family moved to Elmsford in the late 1950s, he attended Elmsford Public Schools and went on to graduate from Temple University, where he studied American literature.

In 1975, he began working for the Westchester County's Office for the Disabled. In time, he became its director, and led that office until he retired in 2002, overseeing the programs that have helped disabled people in Westchester gain access to the support needed to participate fully in society.

He is known for his role in the development of the paratransit system, which provides transportation for disabled individuals who are not able to use regular bus service.

He was a lifelong, passionate advocate for the needs of disabled people and the quality of their lives.

Visiting hours will be from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.Thursday  at the Ballard-Durand Funeral Home, 72 E. Main St., Elmsford.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 59 E Main St., Elmsford.

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