Mary Katherine (Gum) Swartsel, 93, of Tarpon Springs, Florida died peacefully at Suncoast Hospice Care Center in Palm Harbor, Florida on November 20,2022. Mary Kay ( as she was known) was born in Lake Wales, Florida on August 8,1929. She grew up in Lake Wales and went to Lake Wales High School where she was head majorette for the Lake Wales High School Marching Band. After her graduation from high school, Mary Kay went on to attend Florida State College for Women, (now known as FSU) in Tallahassee. She pledged and has been a life long member of the Phi Beta Phi sorority. While Mary Kay was a student in Tallahassee, she met her future husband, on a blind date, Dale Swartsel from Elfers, Florida. They married on September 9,1950 in Lake Wales, FL. Dale and Mary Kay had two daughters, Susan and Dottie who grew up in Tarpon Springs,
FL. Mary Kay was very active in her daughters’ schools. She was PTA president of Sunset Hills Elementary School. She was a Girl Scout leader and Sunday school teacher at All Saints Episcopal Church. Mary Kay was an active participant in a local ladies bridge club that met every Tuesday
afternoon. She was still playing bridge up until a couple of years ago. Her passions were her daughters and grandchildren and cooking! Mary Kay was an excellent cook and enjoyed entertaining in her house on various occasions with friends and family. Mary Kay was predeceased by her husband, Dale Swartsel and her parents, Martha and Buford Gum. of Lake Wales, FL. Mary Kay is survived by her two daughters Susan Gabriel (Richard) and Dottie Towne (David Webster), her grandchildren, Lela Calixtro( Carlos), Joey Towne(Taira), Lara Smith (Joshua), John Webster and Susan Murphy (Blake) and six great grandchildren, Sofia and Aile Calixtro, Isaac and Eva Smith and Clara Margaret and Lucy Towne.
The family would like to thank Tori Stewart, Mary Kay’s caregiver for the last year, for the loving care and compassion Tori gave to Mary Kay.
Funeral Services will be at All Saints Episcopal Church in Tarpon Springs on Saturday, November 26,2022 at 11:30 am. Interment at Cycadia Cemetery, Tarpon Springs.
Vinson Funeral Home in charge of burial arrangements.
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