DYE, Mary Ann (DeLoney) of Clearwater, died Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 at Belleair House in Clearwater. Born on March 2, 1939 to Robert D. DeLoney and Thelma (Griffin) DeLoney in Washington D.C. Married to Jerry W. Dye also of Clearwater. She was preceded in death by her parents. She graduated from Lakeland High School in 1957 where she was active in the Civinettes, Honor Society, Highlander Staff and Student Council. She attended the Florida State University where she was active in the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. That is where she met the love of her life when Jerry asked her to be his "sweetheart of Sigma Chi!" They were married in Lakeland in 1959. She graduated in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Mary Ann started her teaching career at Carolyn Brevard Elementary School in Tallahassee. When desegregation started in Tallahassee, she volunteered to transfer school with both of her boys and start teaching at the historically African American John G. Riley Elementary school. The friends and memories that she built in those schools played a major role in the rest of her life. Mary Ann was a voracious reader and strongly believed that reading skills were a fundamental requirement for a happy life. As her own boys moved on to high school and beyond she left the public school system for a short time and opened her own private "Reading Center" to try and reach a new group of potential readers who were not getting what they needed in a traditional school setting. In 1982, when the last of her boys started college Mary Ann and Jerry decided to follow the sun and headed south to Orlando. After a time trying new things (working on a political campaign and developing marketing campaigns for Super Seminole Greyhound Park) Mary Ann returned to her sons in Tallahassee and returned to public schools, this time teaching high school at Jefferson County High School in Monticello. In 1986, when her boys both had degrees from her beloved Alma Mater, FSU, Mary Ann and Jerry felt the tug of the southern sun again and left Tallahassee for good, this time settling in Tampa Bay. She finished her public school teaching career at Sligh Middle School in Tampa and finally at Lutz Elementary in Lutz. Now that retirement was truly ready for her, and she ready for it, she and her Sigma Chi sweetheart found their dream home at the Cove Cay Condominiums in Clearwater. The condo was on the back nine of the local country club and fronted Old Tampa Bay. Mary Ann and Jerry were in heaven! Her final years were spent with her congregation family at St Paul United Methodist Church in Largo, traveling with Jerry and hosting her boys, their wives and her grandchildren at her slice of south Florida heaven. Even with her life exactly as she had always wanted it, she could not give up on her passion for teaching children to read. Even after retirement, Mary Ann returned to Sylvan Learning Center part time She had to be with the kids. Mary Ann is survived by her loving husband, Jerry; and sons. Ron Dye (Beth), Rick Dye (Lea Ann); 3 grandchildren, Todd, Ryan, Daniel; and many loving friends and relatives. Inurnment will be at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park, Peacefield Mausoleum 2860 Sunset Point Rd., Clearwater on Friday, Sept. 5, at 4 pm, with a reception of friends to follow at Cove Cay, Village 1 Clubhouse. Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Aug. 24, 2014