In Memoriam | June 2023

Peter Pruitt | BSBA ’54 | 1932-2023 | Pruitt, of Vero Beach, Florida, passed on May 20. He attended Harvard’s management program after completing his education at UF. Once he graduated, he served in the military on active duty and in the reserves for several years, eventually retiring as Captain. He spent his career working in insurance, starting at his father’s company and then working in executive positions at other companies, including serving as President and COO of Aon. Among his achievements, he implemented the “muster drill” as a requirement for passengers of ocean-going vessels.

Russell Armstrong | BA ’59 | 1934-2023 | Armstrong, of Ormond Beach, Florida, passed on June 7. After high school, he served in the military for several years. During his time in the military, he obtained his degree from UF and went on to earn a law degree at the Mercer University in Georgia. He established his own law firm in Florida and was recognized as a member of the Florida Bar Association. Outside of the office, he enjoyed taking road trips with his family.

Robert Jackson, Jr. | BSBA ’73 | 1949-2022 | Jackson, of Palm Beach, Florida, passed on September 17. Upon completing his undergraduate degree at UF, Jackson went on to earn his MBA from the Florida Atlantic University and then his CPA. After working in accounting and negotiations for some years, he opened his own real estate company. Jackson mentored his son to take over the company and was extremely proud to pass on his legacy.

Robert “Bob” Craig, Jr. | BSBA ’76 | 1954-2023 | Craig, of Vero Beach, Florida, passed on June 5. He began his career as a realtor while attending earning his degree at UF and worked as a licensed real estate broker throughout his career. His enthusiasm and buoyant personality made him a natural in his profession. Craig’s charisma extended beyond his work, and he always claimed a camera to take pictures at family events.

George “Tom” Vogel | MBA ’91 | 1964-2023 | Vogel, of Brentwood, Tennessee, passed on May 2. He received his undergraduate degree in Hotel Restaurant Management from the University of Central Florida before earning his MBA at UF, where he graduated as president of his class. Vogel’s passion for food service began at the age of 15, when he worked as a cook at a quick serve restaurant in Texas. Later, he used his education to become a restaurant pioneer and executive, spearheading countless initiatives and growth strategies across many iconic brands. Some of his greatest accomplishments include the invention of the chocolate pinata and founding the Uncle Julio’s Family Foundation, a non-profit for employees struggling with financial hardships. When he wasn’t working, he travelled the world with his wife, becoming a true food connoisseur.

Edward D. Bass, II | BSAc ’95 | 1972-2023 | Bass, of Apopka, Florida, passed on June 10. After graduating from UF, he became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). With his credentials, he spent most of his career working at the City of Apopka as finance director and, later, city administrator. Bass was dedicated to city service, and always enjoyed coming back to Gainesville to attend Gator football games.

Paul Morgan | MBA ’95 | 1966-2023 | Morgan, of Lakeland, Florida, passed on July 3. He began his career as a concert pianist, and was ranked as the top pianist in the state of Georgia for four consecutive years. After studying music and performing for several years, he changed career paths to study finance, earning his MBA at UF. After graduation, he worked as a commercial banker at the People’s Bank in Lakeland. Among his passions, he adored travelling, especially trips abroad with his family to celebrate the winter holidays.

Vrett Karas | BSBA ’98 | 1976-2023 | Karas, of Tampa, Florida, passed on May 22. He served in the military after graduating from UF and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service. After retiring as Captain, he worked in support of the United States Special Operations Command in Tampa. He was devoted to his family, and his greatest pleasure was in helping others.