June 14, 1929 - May 27, 2021
Manuel “Manny” Vega passed away on May 27th, 2021, in Sarasota, just 18 days shy of his 92nd birthday. Manny was born in 1929 in Ybor City to hard working Spanish immigrants who worked in the iconic cigar factories of Tampa in the first half of the century. As a result, he spoke both English and Spanish his whole life. Manny graduated from Hillsborough High School, then served in the Army, stationed in the Panama Canal zone just after the Korean War before coming home to Florida to study geology at Florida State University. It was there that he met the love of his life, Allene Champlain, and they soon married, on D-day in 1959. Manny went on to get a PhD in psychology and returned to Tampa, joining the faculty of the fledgling University of South Florida in 1965. There he remained a professor in the criminal justice department for 30 years. In 1979 he and Allene moved to Bradenton and he began teaching at the Sarasota-Manatee campus; he remained there until his retirement in 1995. Manny specialized in corrections, authoring a highly regarded textbook in that area, and was a student favorite winning numerous teaching awards during his time as a USF professor – his field trips to prisons around the state were legendary and highly sought. His students over the years included many in the local criminal justice community, including numerous law enforcement officers, attorneys, and judges, among others. In addition to his passion for teaching, Manny also loved jazz, especially big band jazz, a love he infused to his wife and kids. He played tenor saxophone in various bands for many years, from his college years until his time with the Tampa Police Band in the 70s. He loved to travel and made it to most of his bucket list destinations except one – sailing to Antarctica around Cape Horn in South America. He was an extremely intelligent man and could discuss just about anything with anyone, but he was also kind and compassionate - many times he and Allene opened their home to those in need. He was a great son, husband, father and friend, and he will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched. He is survived by his wife of 61 years Allene (Champlain) Vega; sons Marcus, Russell, and Richard Vega; daughters-in-law Dana (Kent) Vega and Trina (Trotter) Vega; grandchildren Ashley (Vega) Nullet, and Michael, Christopher, Jackson, Joshua, Donovan and Jillian Vega; and his faithful dog Lucky. A graveside service will be held at 12:30pm, Monday, November 29, 2021, at Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL 34241. A celebration of life will be held at 6pm, Monday, November 29, 2021, at 6pm, Russ and Dana Vega, 1762 North Drive, Sarasota, FL 34239. In his memory, donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Manuel “Manny” Vega passed away on May 27th, 2021, in Sarasota, just 18 days shy of his 92nd birthday. Manny was born in 1929 in Ybor City to hard working Spanish immigrants who worked in the iconic cigar factories of Tampa in the... View Obituary & Service Information
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