TAMPA — A Thursday night memorial was planned for former Plant High School principal Vincent Sussman in the school gymnasium that bears his name.
Sussman, 63, died in his sleep early Monday.
The program was set to begin at 6 p.m.
Principal Rob Nelson said he expected a large crowd of staff, school alumni including former athletes, and friends to attend.
Family and friends were preparing a photo and video presentation for the memorial.
While Sussman was remembered primarily as a football coach and principal, he also had been a teacher, a driver's ed instructor, dean of students, an assistant principal, general director of technology services and general manager of environmental services.
Sixteen years ago, while he was serving as principal of Plant, Sussman tried to repair the roof of his one-story home. The ladder slipped and he fell, leaving him a quadriplegic.
Sussman returned to work when school resumed that August, running Plant from a wheelchair and a voice-activated computer.
"I'm not going to dwell in self-pity or why it happened. I've never taught anybody to do that," he had told the Times. "I've got to start living the lessons that I teach."