Manuel Luis Ibanez

September 23, 1935 ~ November 30, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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Manuel Ibanez Obituary

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Dr. Manuel Luis Ibanez. He passed peacefully in his home in Corpus Christi surrounded by his loving family on November 30, 2023.

Manny, aka Doc, was born to Esperanza and Ovidio Ibanez on September 23, 1935, in Worcester, Massachusetts and lived in Donora, Pennsylvania throughout his childhood. After graduating fromDonora High School, he earned his BS from Wilmington College (Ohio) in 1957, his MS (1959) and finally his Ph.D. (1961) in bacteriology and biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University.

Manny went on to teach at Bucknell and UCLA before serving as a diplomat for the United Nations. He was stationed in Costa Rica while teaching the use of radioisotopes in agriculture throughout Central and South America. He also participated in the first National Science Foundation expedition on the Amazon River, where, among other discoveries and wonders, a new species of beetle that he discovered was named in his

In 1965, he was hired as Chair of Biology and began teaching at Louisiana State University of New Orleans (LSUNO), now University of New Orleans (UNO). As part of his science outreach, he could be seen in the mornings teaching biology on WDSU TV (the NBC affiliate in New Orleans). Manny served in many positions, including Professor, Chair of the Biology Department, Associate Dean for Academic Actions of the Graduate School, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Provost until 1989 at UNO.

Dr. Manuel Ibanez retired from UNO to become President of Texas A & I University (now Texas A & M University - Kingsville in 1989. In 1994, Dr. Ibanez was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a regent at the Smithsonian Institute and reappointed in 2000 by President George W. Bush, serving 2 six-year terms. As a regent, he was part of the committee that selected what was to be displayed at the Smithsonian.

Dr. Ibanez also served as a member of the Texas-Israel Exchange Board, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's Joint Council on Food and Agricultural Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Entex Corp. Board of Directors, and the International Institute for Applied System Analysis Advisory Group. Manny retired as President in 1998, moved to Corpus Christi, and returned to his teaching roots teaching biology and biochemistry. He was named distinguished professor of Biology
in 1998 at Texas A & M University - Kingsville. After leaving Texas A & M University - Kingsville, he taught at Del Mar Community College in Corpus Christi. He truly believed that access to education was key to building a successful and productive life, and he made it his mission to ensure that the youth of South Texas had access to a quality and affordable education.

Dr. Manuel Luis Ibanez was a modern-day renaissance man. He packed a world of experiences into his life. He could speak and read 7 languages, he conversed face to face with presidents and popes, and he played his role in the highest echelons of power and prestige in Texas and on the national stage. At the same time, he was still able to turn the complex workings of biology and biochemistry into information that the everyday person and student could comprehend and appreciate, thus, making him an exceptional educator. He was a brilliant mind with countless talents. He had personality and humor, he was a capable artist, and he could sing, dance and act. Manny was a master chess player, skilled tennis player, amateur astronomer, model rocket builder, and antique car rebuilder. He appreciated and collected books of all kinds from comics to literary classics. He rebuilt old phonographs, enjoyed classical music and opera, and was a ham radio operator (KC5WIV). He enjoyed smoking cigars with friends and family and would happily discuss, with a high level of knowledge, any subject that came to mind. He
loved teaching, learning, reading, traveling, and playing poker with friends. He was the kindest, most caring man. Despite his many talents and his passion for his work, the center of his life has always been his family and he wanted nothing more than to be with his wife, Jane, and have his children and grandchildren near him. He led a life filled with integrity, love, and devotion to his family. A mighty oak has fallen, and the world is less for it.

He is predeceased by his older sisters, Susie and Libertad, his first wife, Gail Perry, and by the love of his life, his muse, his partner, and his soul mate, Jane Bourquard, who passed away scant months before their 50 th wedding anniversary.

He is survived by his four children (and their spouses) Juana (Robert Baughn), Vincent (Susan), William (Angel), and Marc (Amber), 16 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, his sister-in-law, Velvye Cox, and many well-loved cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A private burial will be held in keeping with his wishes.

The Dr. Manuel Ibanez and Jane Ibanez Memorial Scholarship and Fellowship Fund has been set up in honor of Manny and Jane through the Texas A & M - Kingsville Foundation.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you donate to the scholarship endowment which will be granted each year to the top undergraduate and graduate student in biology, chemistry, or pre-pharmacy at TAMU - K.

You may use the link below to access the donation page.

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