BENEGAS, JR., Manuel "Manny"Born in Ft. Dodge, IA on January 19, 1965 to Manuel and Kiyoko Benegas. He attended North High School in Sioux City where he met his wife, Nancy. They married on June 24, 1988. Manuel graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, and received his law degree from the University of Minnesota. Manuel's life was centered on his family. He and Nancy had two boys, Maxwell and Quinn. They lived in Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Madison, WI, and then settled in Minnesota for 10 years. They came to Nashville in 2009 when Manuel became the Program Administrator for Quality Systems Strategy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Nancy joined the faculty in the Ophthalmology Department. Manuel had an intuitive understanding of others and was a natural diplomatic leader known for his sense of integrity. He was a loyal friend and connected easily with those who shared his love of family, maintaining many friendships from his high school days in Iowa, as well as from each stop along the family's journey through life. He often gathered family and friends to share his lifelong passions of music, cooking, and art. On June 24th, the family celebrated Manuel and Nancy's anniversary while on vacation in Hawaii. He died there on June 26th, 2013. A Celebration of Life was held in Nashville on July 20, 2013. He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 25 years; their sons, Max (16), Quinn (11) and his parents, Manuel Sr. and Kiyoko. Manuel Jr. had a loving relationship with his parents, who moved to Nashville with the family. Manuel is remembered as an exceptionally kind and generous man. A friend said, "Manny has been a rock, a brother, and a trusted advisor, both professionally and personally. He will be truly missed, and we pray that his spirit lives within us." Donations may be made to: Life's Bridges, P.O. Box 1965, Lihue, HI 96766.
Published in The Tennessean on Aug. 1, 2013