By Lisa Cisneros
Members of the campus community are mourning the sudden loss of Red Mangio, who has been praised by colleagues as giving his heart to UCSF.
Mangio died Saturday in his sleep at St. Mary's Hospital after a long illness. He was 46.
"Red was Mr. Community at Programs and Services," says Al Minvielle, longtime director of UCSF Campus Life Services. "He was one of the main reasons we had 'fun' as one of our values. His joy and enthusiasm for people was foundational in the growth and development of EMPACT! in the 1990s. He formed groups of active, fun-loving volunteers that spread the word and walked the talk that work doesn't have to be just work."
Mangio began working for Millberry Programs and Services as an administrative assistant 17 years ago. He quickly became involved as a volunteer for EMPACT! Later, he was the natural choice to become a full-time programmer and volunteer coordinator for employee activities and events.
"He was born to do that job," Minvielle says. "Red could not have been more perfect. He loved people, he loved a good time, and he worked tirelessly to bring those two things together into a community of over 500 volunteers throughout UCSF. His efforts changed the landscape of our community and the character of the campus. Red gave us more than his time: He gave us his heart. He will forever be part of our story. We will miss him."
Mangio is credited with rallying hundreds of volunteers, of whom about 100 were die-hard, loyal fans of Mangio, who had an "infectious personality." Over the past 17 years, Mangio organized a cadre of volunteers who worked at numerous staff appreciation events, cultural celebrations and barbecues.
"Red brought the masses out of the shadows and onto center stage to mix together and appreciate the richness of the humanity at UCSF," says Minvielle, who added that "when the campus wanted to promote large events, they called on Red to spread the word."
For Gail Mametsuka, former manager of the closely knit Arts & Events unit, the loss of Mangio is taking a personal and professional toll. "This is a huge loss for the University," she says. "We are doing our best to support each other and keep the spirit alive. There's no doubt that the loss of Red Mangio has been hard to accept."
"He was like our cheerleader," Mametsuka says. "He loved the University and always believed in what we did -- making life better for employees. We cannot replace him."
Mametsuka says Mangio - always the optimist -- would want his friends to look on the bright side. "If you knew Red, he would not want us to be sad. In fact, he would see this as an opportunity to gather people together and celebrate."
With this in mind, the campus community is invited to join Arts & Events staff and Ross Mangio, Red's brother, for a celebration of Red's life on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at noon in the Millberry Conference Center on the UCSF Parnassus campus.
"We are asking people to wear their favorite sweatpants and/or Hawaiian shirt in memory of Red," Mametsuka says.
Arts & Events staff will be putting together a scrapbook of their favorite memories of Red to give to the Mangio family in Seattle. Art supplies will be available at the celebration event.
In addition, a memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 12, from noon to 2 p.m. at Duggan's Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave., Colma.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the AIDS Research Institute at UCSF in Memory of Redentor Mangio. Send to The Breakthrough Fund, AIDS Research Institute at UCSF, 50 Beale St., Suite 1300, San Francisco, CA 94105.