Little League® International mourns the passing of Robert “Bobby” Veleta, Jr., who was a Southeast Region volunteer umpire for 27 years, and twice officiated games at the Little League Baseball® Europe and Africa (EA) Region Tournament played in Kutno, Poland. He was 66.
Mr. Veleta’s volunteer service to the Little League program began with the Navy Ortega Lakeshore Little League. He umpired and served on the league’s Board of Directors. From 2003-to-2008, Mr. Veleta held the position Florida District 11 Umpire-In-Chief, serving Northeast Florida. He officiated games in five region tournaments, including assignments umpiring the EA region events.
A native of Harvey, Illinois, Mr. Veleta resided in Middleburg, Florida, at the time of his passing. After graduating from Apopka (Florida) Memorial High School in 1974, Mr. Veleta attended Florida Community College in Jacksonville, Florida, earning an Associate of Arts degree in 1986. Three years later (1989), he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from the University of North Florida.
From 1974-to-1981, Mr. Veleta served in the United States Navy. Following his retirement from active duty, he served another 22 years as a US Naval Reservist, retiring in 1996. During this time, he was awarded three distinct Navy Achievement Medals and on two occasions was named “Sailor of the Year.” Mr. Veleta began working for the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast at the Naval Air Station (NAS) in Jacksonville, as an aircraft electrician in 1983. After 39 years, he retired holding the title of Industrial Engineering Technician Supervisor.
Mr. Veleta is survived by his wife, Sharon; three stepchildren and five grandchildren; daughters, Emily, and Katie; their mother, Christi; siblings Kim, Gale, and Bruce; and parents, Robert, Sr., and Nancy.