1932 - 2020
EVERTZ, Mary Gardiner journalist, wife, mother, grandmother, and beloved friend to many, died Dec. 5, 2020, at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg after a brief illness. An almost lifelong resident of St. Petersburg, Mrs. Evertz was born in Pittsburgh, PA, on Christmas Day 1932. A daughter of the late Judge William G. and Mary K. Gardiner, she moved to St. Petersburg from Chicago. She graduated from Mirror Lake Junior High School and St. Petersburg High School. She attended the University of Florida and earned a degree in journalism from Stetson University in DeLand, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and met her husband, Harry A. "Bud" Evertz III. Though they traveled extensively, nationally and internationally, they loved their home in St. Petersburg. Mrs. Evertz was passionate about helping newcomers learn about their community and giving back to it. As a reporter and columnist for 47 years with the St. Petersburg Times, she chronicled the social comings and goings of a city that grew with her. She had one of the longest careers of anyone in the company and served longer than any other woman at the Times. Her children recall sitting in the smoke-filled newspaper office of the Times while their mother wrote, and her being out three or four nights a week to report about events in the area. Their Thanksgiving table was crowded with not only family, but also with new residents of the city or Times employees with nowhere else to spend the holidays. The family's annual Christmas get-together, also a celebration of Mrs. Evertz's birthday, swelled to a multitude of guests. The job was a perfect fit for her mother, who knew everybody and never forgot a personal detail, daughter Wendy Hunt said. "Mom just really was a people connector," she said. "If you moved to town, she made sure you knew people, so that St. Petersburg was a great experience." Mrs. Evertz's friends were multigenerational and widespread. She made introductions that helped people professionally and personally; some resulted in longtime marriages. Until recently, after her friends died, she wrote their obituaries, even though she retired from the newspaper in 2002. She was the go-to person to plan and host countless wedding showers, baby showers, debutante parties and other celebrations. Mrs. Evertz was a member of the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, the Vinoy Club, Delta Delta Delta sorority, the Junior League of St. Petersburg, and the St. Petersburg Debutante Club. After retiring, she threw herself into volunteering. She chaired Town and Gown, a group of community partners who support the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America Greater Tampa Bay Area Council, raising millions of dollars for the organization and helping to launch its Distinguished Citizens Award program. She served on the boards of the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg, the Florida Bar Foundation, the Margaret Acheson Stuart Society of the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, and the Florida Blood Services Foundation. She had been president of the Snell Isle Foundation, a fund-raising arm of the Snell Isle Property Owners Association, and was named Sustainer of the Year by the Junior League of St. Petersburg. In addition, she and a group of friends held a regular Friday "lunch bunch" meeting for several decades; recent years also brought her, in pre-COVID 19 times, to a weekly Monday evening social gathering. Mrs. Evertz was predeceased by her husband of 63 years, Harry A. "Bud" Evertz III; her parents, Judge William and Mary K. Gardiner; her sister, Wendy G. Lewis; and niece Mary Elizabeth Lewis Tucker. She is survived by her son, Dr. William Gardiner Evertz; daughter, Wendy Evertz Hunt and son-in-law Randy Hunt of Amherst. NH; and grandchildren, Warren Matthew Hunt, William Mitchell Hunt, and Madeleine Gray Hunt, all of Amherst; and many nieces and nephews. Private services and interment were held Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter with the Very Rev. Stephen B. Morris, dean, officiating. A celebration of life is planned in 2021 when it is safe for friends and family to gather once again. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, 140 4th St, N, St. Petersburg, 33701; the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg 600 1st Ave. N., # 201, St. Petersburg, 33701; the Boy Scouts of America Greater Tampa Bay Area Council, 13228 N. Central Ave., Tampa, 33612; and the Florida Bar Foundation, 875 Concourse Parkway S. #195, Maitland, 32751.
Published by Tampa Bay Times from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22, 2020.
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4 Entries
We are saddened by the death of Mary Evertz. She was a person who had a lot of spunk and spirit and was very social. Her and her husband, Harry, were members of the Club for 26 years and we will miss them both. Out deepest sympathy and prayers go out to her family during this difficult time. God bless, the Vinoy Club Staff
Joanne Bird
January 8, 2021
My deepest sympathy to the (Gardiner) Evertz Families for the loss of your loved one, Mary, and pray God gives you comfort, peace and strength.
December 21, 2020
I know that even though you have a loss, you still have some great memories. I hope those memories will give you comfort in knowing God is with you and your family lean on him in your time of sorrow.
Simone Taylor
December 20, 2020
We will miss Mary very much! She was always such a warm and kind person...full of joy! Always happy and so easy to be around! Our deepest sympathy and condolences to her loving family and dearest friends. Joyce and Adrian
December 20, 2020
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