We are deeply saddened to share that Michael A. Mennello passed away on Friday, December 18 due to COVID-19-related illness. He was 87.
Mennello, and his late wife Marilyn, founded the Mennello Museum in 1998 after donating 35 paintings by folk artist Earl Cunningham, worth over $2 million, to the city.
In 1999, The Florida Association of Museums awarded The Mennellos the Museum Service Award for Outstanding Trustees, and in 2015, United Arts honored them with the John Meyer Tiedtke Lifetime Achievement Award for community leaders dedicated to the support of arts and culture.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in a press statement wrote: “I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of one of Orlando’s greatest supporters of the arts and generous philanthropists, Michael A. Mennello. Orlando would not be the cultural city it is today without Michael’s influence, enthusiasm and investment in the arts. He has left a lasting legacy with his devotion and passion for generations to come and made our community a more diverse and creative place to live.”
The Mennello Museum of American Art, owned and operated by the City of Orlando, is located on the beautiful shore of Lake Formosa in Orlando’s Loch Haven Cultural Park.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests those who wish to express sympathy and honor Michael’s memory donate to the Friends of the Mennello Museum’s “Building Our Future” campaign. Contributions may be sent to Friends of the Mennello Museum of American Art, 900 E. Princeton Street, Orlando, Florida 32832 or online at mennellomuseum.org/building-our-future.
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