July 3, 2018 – A memorial service for Santa Fe College alumnus Emanuel “Manny” Hernandez Jr. was held Tuesday afternoon in the SF Gymnasium. About 400 family, friends and colleagues attended the service to pay their respects.
Hernandez was preparing to attend Daytona State College in 2006 on a baseball scholarship when he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. Following several days in a coma and weeks of intensive care, he was taken to UF Health for further rehabilitation. After regaining much of his strength, he enrolled at Santa Fe College.
While at SF, Hernandez was enrolled in the college’s Adult Education program, learning to speak, read and write all over again. After completing the program, he went on to earn his A.A. at SF in 2013, followed by a bachelor’s degree at UNF in 2017.
Hernandez was also able to continue with his love of baseball, serving as team manager and scoreboard operator for the Saints baseball team.
SF President Dr. Jackson N. Sasser called Hernandez the “most joyful and perseverant student” the school has ever had. Sasser also conferred upon him a bachelor’s degree from SF.
Hernandez died after a car accident in Newberry last Wednesday. He was 30 years old.