Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Lori Mann Pinard

Music gave her a 'whole new life' in her 40s

SAFETY HARBOR — After long nights working at the Italian restaurant she owned, Lori Mann Pinard used to go to the local Holiday Inn to unwind.

She didn't drink, just sipped hot tea at the bar and hummed to the jazz music. She loved the sounds of big band, but before her divorce, her musical prowess stopped short at church choirs.

Then one night at a Miami club where Doris Day got her start, Mrs. Pinard got up and sang, revealing a smooth blues alto. People raved.

She was in her 40s then, just beginning to blossom.

"After having six children, she was always PTA, Brownies, Boy Scouts," said her daughter Lisa Johni. "She just kind of had this whole new life."

She took voice lessons and sat in on jam sessions. She listened to Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn.

The more she sang, the more her schedule filled. She booked shows at restaurants, clubs and parties, performing under the name "Lori Mann." She wore flashy costumes on stage — boas, hats, costume cigarette holders.

She never rehearsed.

"I don't sing at home," she told the St. Petersburg Times in 2007. "I don't sing in the shower. I only sing in front of an audience. I'm an alto, and my voice is still clear. The only way I've abused my voice over the years is I've had six children and a restaurant."

Offstage, she was calm and casual. She didn't primp much but never left home without eyebrow pencil and a little lipstick.

She moved to Madeira Beach in the 1980s as a single woman before eventually settling in Safety Harbor with her husband, Mike Pinard.

Mrs. Pinard was exceedingly cheerful; her kids called her "Mary Sunshine."

In her day job selling advertisements for a legal review, she earned a reputation — when she visited a client, she came bearing homemade bread.

"She carried it in her car," said Johni, 41. "Pumpkin bread, banana nut bread, zucchini bread. That was her calling card."

In 2005, she had a mammogram, and doctors found a spot. She had a mastectomy, and the cancer didn't spread. She was home free, she thought.

In 2006, a stomach ache turned out to be pancreatic cancer. Her husband of 20 years, who had lost his previous wife to lung cancer, cared for her.

She told the Times, "My objective is living. … Often we dwell on our own situations. I can't change the fact I have cancer, but attitude is big."

The cancer, she said, was a gift. It caused her to patch up shaky relationships from her past and reach out to old friends. It gave her perspective.

"She had a great life," said her daughter. "She could accept it."

Mrs. Pinard died July 25. She was 78.

Stephanie Hayes can be reached at shayes@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8857.

>>Biography

Lori Mann Pinard

Born: June 12, 1930

Died: July 25, 2008

Survivors: husband, Mike; children, Debra, John, Mark, Scott and his wife, Mary, Matthew, Lisa Johni and her husband, Scott; stepdaughters, Becky and Marcy; 8 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren.

Services: 2 p.m. Aug. 16 at Moss Feaster Dunedin, 1320 Main St.

Music gave her a 'whole new life' in her 40s 08/01/08 [Last modified: Friday, August 1, 2008 9:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Pete Pride schedule and live blog

    Special Topics

    Here are some events to help you celebrate this year's pride celebration:

    George Michael Tribute Unveiling

  2.   Jake Faria has pitched 6-1/3 innings and has allowed one run in each of this first three starts.
  3. Rick vs. Rick: St. Petersburg sewage crisis edition

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — For nearly two years, the political stench of a sewage crisis has permeated City Hall.

    Rick vs. Rick are battling to become St. Petersburg mayor. Former mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right.
  4. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  5. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.