Evelyn Nesbitt Hartz
A Life Well Lived
“IT IS WHAT IT IS”
Evelyn (Nesbitt) Hartz was in her Happy Place when she soared over her Blue Ridge Mountains in Maggie Valley, NC on July 1, 2018.
She was born a preemie Feb 20, 1937 but was bigger than life to those that knew her. She always said she had the most wonderful childhood and dearly loved her parents Irvin and Lorene Nesbitt. She was an only child for just 8 short years before a mischievous younger brother Don came along. Family has always been important to her.
Raised as a Boswell Blackhawk, she broke ranks and began dating a tall farm boy who was an Ambia Wildcat. Meeting this tall farm boy over a plate of cookies at her grandma’s. After graduating she attended DePauw University in Greencastle, IN where she picked up the nickname “Evie”. While there, she was an active Delta Zeta and remained quite active as an alumna initiating a new Chapter at the University of Florida. In 1958 she represented and won the sorority sexy legs contest, wearing a pillow case over her head/upper torso and judged by the waiters. (she would be mad we included this)
After college, the tall farm boy came calling. She married Jay Hartz in 1959 and began 58 fabulous years together (which her children request an immediate awarding of wings and a halo upon arrival in heaven). Living in Columbus, IN, Boswell, IN, Hoopeston, IL, Ocala, FL and her Happy Place, Maggie Valley, NC, she took the reigns as the matriarch of the family. While in Hoopeston, she was a teacher at the Reilly Home Farm School and later the Hoopeston Public Library. In 1992 it was time to give up cold winters and shoveling snow and moved to Ocala, FL, where she continued to work as a Children’s librarian, reading to children, and dressing up as Viola Swamp the Witch during Halloween.
Retirement brought her and Jay back to their camping roots. They began camping right after marriage at Raccoon Lake, Indian Head and in retirement were founding members of the Tall Tail Travelers in Florida. She laughed about burnt fried pies and remained great friends with many from the group. Camping brought her to Maggie Valley and immediately she knew it was time to stop RV’ing and purchased “The Happy Place”. She told us “It had to be the “Valley” because Jay was white knuckled, grabbing the dash as I drove up Grandfather Mountain!”.
Her love of travel began with her mom, dad and brother on family vacations across the USA. It carried on with her own family, teaching her children the love of camping and travel.
She loved to travel and learn all about the various locations she visited. From Route 66 in a VW Bug Convertible to tethering hot air balloons in New Mexico she was always looking for something new to try. She was so proud to proclaim that she had traveled to 49 states and Puerto Rico and content to see Alaska through the eyes of her children.
With all the activities and travels, come Sunday morning she could be found in the church. She was always a member of the Methodist Church and most recently the St. Johns UMC in Cotton Plant, FL. This is a small country church that so reminded her of her church in Boswell, IN.
She had a love for nature whether it was sitting at her breakfast table in Ocala watching the thoroughbred horses, or on her porch in Maggie staring at the mountains, listening to the birds and waiting for the elk to roam through the meadow in front of the house.
She loved a Checkers® burger, a glass of wine and whooping the boys at a game of marbles or a good game of Gin with Jay. You could find her in November doing the “Sanibel Stoop” and never, ever contact her November – March when BIG 10 basketball was on. She always loved a good campfire with friends, powdered doughnuts, diet coke, a fake tattoo on her 50th anniversary (ok, you got us on that one!), riding the People Mover at Disney World (by herself), Schatzie, Heidi, Teckel, Sammie the Cat and Sammie the Dog (who will continue to be spoiled rotten by Jay), the color blue, oyster stew on Christmas Eve, EVERYTHING Christmas, a good laugh, a full moon shared with someone special across the miles, cheesy eggs and foot stoppin’ at the Waffle House, shopping at Goodwill, hanging with her “Little Sista” and a cup of coffee,
And, many, many friends.
Evelyn is leaving behind a family who loves her, who now has the daunting task of going through her things and reminiscing at the little notes she would leave identifying the important items and was recently quoted as saying “don’t turn a page without reading it”.
Evelyn is survived by her husband Jay, daughter Cynthia (Mick) Zarate, granddaughter Cara Zarate, son Mark (Kelly) Hartz, grandchildren Lizzie Hartz, Brayden Hartz, Stephanie (Chuck) Vill and family, Austin Metcalf.
Brother Don (Susan) Nesbitt, nephews Will (Laura) Nesbitt and family, Eric (Lindsay) Nesbitt and family.
Sister-in-law Gerry Phillips, nephew Carey Million and family.
She is also survived (as we all are and shall be) by the world-famous Harry Tice from Kansas City!
Evelyn said to leave this message with you:
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can.” John Wesley
The family would like to add:
Tonight, hug your family and friends, toast a glass of wine, listen to the birds sing and above all, know that love creates a Happy Place in your heart!
Although, Evelyn would love beautiful flowers, she knew she would not get to enjoy them. She asked that a donation in her name be given to:
Boswell-Grant Township Public Library
101 East Main Street
Boswell, IN 47921
Hoopeston Public Library District
110 North 4th Street
Hoopeston, IL 60942
Haywood Hospice at the Homestead – where angles on earth provided her with the most wonderful and gracious care
127 Sunset Ridge Road
Clyde, NC 28721