Manuel Vega, Jr., known to his family as Pappa, of Grover Beach, CA passed away on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 3:15 pm (Hospice official time: 4:05 pm). Pappa took his final breaths on his own terms, in his own home with his favorite show Bonanza playing in the background and with his girls watching over him. Though Pappa left this world tired and frail, he will be remembered as a tough, loving, and fearless Old Salt. There was never a dull moment in our family, and he taught us the biggest treasure a man can have is his family.
Pappa was born to Josephine Felix and Manuel Vega, Sr. on December 22, 1942 in Fresno CA. He grew up in the city of Pinedale, leaving at the age of 17 to enlist in the US Marine Corps. He proudly served his country in the 1st Tank Division spending most of that time in A Company, Platoon 112, during which time he earned his Good Conduct Medal (1st award) and his Marksman badge, M-14 Rifle. He was honorably discharged on 27 January 1964 He then pursued a career in barbering.
Pappa was blessed with first daughter, Cassandra E. Vega, on September 16, 1972. Sadly, Cassandra did not survive long after birth, which crushed Pappa and eventually ended his marriage.
Pappa opened his first Barber Shop in Oxnard, California: Port Hole Hair Design. It was during this time that he met his “Honey Bunny”, Clara Ruth Wilson (AKA Mammam), and her two daughters. He selflessly took on the role of father to these two toddlers and has stated his good fortune that “God took my baby and then blessed me with these two”; Jackye and Renae were never less than his daughters. Soon after, he was blessed with his 3rd daughter, Julie Ann Vega.
Manny and Ruthie raised their 3 daughters with equal love and devotion, while nurturing their marriage. Too many memories and adventures to list but, most Sundays were devoted to family BBQ’s or travelling out of town. These out-of-town trips often found us visiting extended family or meeting family at various Lakes and campgrounds, doing what he loved.
Pappa decided he wanted to see the US, so he sold Port Hole Hair Design and, for a short time, drove a big rig across the country. In 1998, Pappa and Mammam decided to move to the Central Coast. In 1999, he opened Discount General Store, located on Grand Avenue in Grover Beach, across the street from Vons. Eventually, each of the three daughters and their families followed Mammam and Pappa to SLO County. After closing Discount General, Pappa decided to return to his profession as a barber. He first rented a space at a local barber shop on Elm Street and then opened and co-owned Oak Park Barbers before finally deciding to hang up his sheers and straight razor.
Pappa is survived by his loving family: his wife, Clara Ruth Vega; three daughters, Jackye Balegal (Paul), Sara Renae Mattson, and Julie Wheeler (Don); six grandchildren, Justin Balegal (Rebbecca), Ray Anthony Gomez, Jessica Balegal, Anthony Cortez, Daniel Cortez, and Brayden Mattson; several great grandchildren; and his sisters, Esther and Josephine. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Cassandra, his parents, and his three siblings: Joe, Freddy, and Francis.
Graveside services are being handled by Marshall Spoo Mortuary. He will be laid to rest at Arroyo Grande Cemetery, buried in his Military suit and with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, please donate to any branch of the Military Vets services. He was big on helping his veteran brothers and sisters.
His legacy lives on with his ever-growing family, who miss him dearly.
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