Cover photo for Victor Vivian Sharpe Jr.'s Obituary
1925 Victor 2024

Victor Vivian Sharpe Jr.

November 7, 1925 — February 7, 2024

        Victor V. Sharpe Jr., 98, was a man who followed his passions and whose booming laugh was recognizable everywhere he went. He passed from this life on Feb. 7, 2024, in Grand Junction CO, following a lengthy battle with dementia.

        Vic was born on Nov. 7, 1925 in Tampa Florida to Victor V. and Evah Kennedy Sharpe. He was the beloved brother of Mary Ellen Sharpe Rendall (1927-1973.)

        As a young man he graduated from Florida Military Academy, briefly attended Duke University, then began his naval career by attending the United States Naval Academy. Vic graduated from the USNA in 1947 and married his first wife, Joan Gaudynski. A daughter, Sara Elizabeth, and a son Victor  III were born in 1948 and 1952 respectively.

        In 1949 Vic was discharged from the Navy and returned to Tampa with his young family to assist his father in managing the family business, Sharpe and Company Cadillac.

        After Joan and Vic were divorced, Victor married Gaynell McKenzie and became an enthusiastic stepfather to Philip (Hapi) McKenzie (Patty) and Lloyd (Thumper) McKenzie (Maggie), all of Tampa. Both remember their step-dad fondly. Vic’s third child, James, known as Jim, was born to the couple in 1958. Jim married Kathy Brookover in 1983 and they had one daughter, Lynn Sharpe Wright (Christopher). Sadly, Jim preceded Vic in death in 1995.

        It took him a few tries, but after his second marriage ended, Vic met the love of his life, Faye Branham. They were happily married from 1971 until her passing in 2020.

        Vic managed Sharpe and Company Cadillac from 1949 until 1970. The agency, established in 1923 by Vic Sr., was the second oldest automobile dealership established in Tampa. Vic’s success in business allowed him to follow his passions for most of his life. He loved anything fast, whether on land, on the sea, or in the sky.

        Vic’s 1949 Crosley Hot Shot won the first race at Sebring in 1950. Vic and Faye both loved motorcycles, especially antique and historic ones. They traveled extensively throughout the United States in their various motorhomes. They particularly cherished their rendezvous with the USNA RV Come-Around group, meeting up with old Navy friends several times each year in different interesting locations all over the United States.

        Vic always owned boats, from prams and small sailboats to speed boats and even an 80 X 20 foot motor yacht which Faye and Vic built themselves and lived on for many years. Vic was the Commodore of the Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa in the early 1960s.

        Aviation was a passion that Vic and Faye shared. Both were seasoned pilots, Vic logging over 1000 hours of flight time. Vic owned a number of airplanes ranging from a Waco biplane (c. 1946) to a Beechcraft Aerobatic Bonanza. Vic and Faye attended Sun’n Fun in Winter Haven, FL and the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI every year. They founded and chaired an EAA chapter in Johnson County, TN when they lived there in the 90s. Among Vic’s proudest achievements were the two homebuilt airplanes he built, one with his son Jim, in the late 1980s.

        Vic is survived by his children, Sara E. Sharpe of Grand Junction CO, and Dr. Victor V. Sharpe III (Sandy), of Anaheim CA, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Sister Mary Ellen’s four daughters and their families will miss Uncle Vic as well.

        Per his wishes, Vic has been cremated and his ashes will be scattered in one of his most cherished places, the Gulf of Mexico. Victor had a full and exciting life. He loved and was loved. One can’t think of anything he wanted to do or experience that he did not do or accomplish. We should all be so fortunate.

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