Evelyn Nesbitt Hartz

Saturday, February 20, 1937 - Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Life Well Lived

Photo of Evelyn Nesbitt Hartz  - 1937-2018


Evelyn/Evie Hartz


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


Condolences from family and friends


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So sorry for your loss. I only met her a few times but she seemed like a lovely lady. I will remember her candy wreaths which were always appreciated . Many prayers.
Rita Williams
So sorry to hear of Evelyn's passing. I remember being with mom and dad when they would visit Jay and Evelyn. So many memories I will cherish for ever. She was a great lady.
Deb Orr
I am in shock at Evie’s passing. She was a wonderful friend. My very best to you Jay and the rest of your family. I will keep you in my prayers.
Diane Singleton
I am so sorry to hear this. Evie was such a sunny and authentic person . I had not seen her since the last DePauw reunion but we kept in touch through Facebook and Words . My condolences and thoughts to Jay and her much loved family.
Thelma (Hunter) Harkness-Thompson
Dear Jay & family...So sorry to hear of Evie's passing. We always enjoyed our visits at the pre- Ambia alumni parties (at Lynn's) and at the Beef House. Sending love and support to you and your family....Jim & Diane
Jim & Diane Wittenauer, Ft Myers, FL
Although I only knew Evie for a few short years in the Falls of Ocala I grew to love & admire Her greatly. I’m sure going to miss seeing her when I return to the Falls in the Fall. We were all so blessed to know her & her sweet smile. My deepest sympathies to her family. May she Rest In Peace.
Ellen Briggs
We met Evie and Jay in the OTOW pool when we first moved to Ocala and they took us under their wings, driving us around to see the beautiful horse farms, took us on a trial run to find our new doctor's offices, and even showing us how to get to Tuesday Morning. When I told Evie I loved OTOW but was really missing my grandchildren. She shared her story of looking at the full moon with a dear one far away. How that lifted my spirit and helped me adjust and accept it is what it is. Through the years we'd meet and chat picking up our mail and when Jay and Evie moved to her "happy place", we still kept in touch through Facebook. Heaven has gained a dear and special lady who is now looking at that moon from a different perspective. Our love, thoughts, and prayers go out to Jay and to all her family. Our world is a better place because of Evie. Truly, she set an example for all she touched. May we imitate her in doing good whenever, wherever, and as often as we can.
Frank and Mary Jane Merlo
So sorry for your loss, this was the most uplifting memorial I have ever read. It made me smile at how very much she enjoyed and LIVED life. We purchased the Nesbitt home from Don in 1988 and lived there 4 wonderful years. I used to deliver the newspaper to the house when I was in elementary school. While I never knew her well, I knew the family and grew up knowing they were wonderful, well respected members of the community. Thank you for sharing insight into a great life/legacy.
Cathy (Turner) Smith
I hardly ever get on Facebook but did today. What a shock. Evelyn and I grew up together. Our dads were once business partners. Although we went our separate ways after leaving Boswell we stayed in touch. My heart is sad and I'll remember her fondly. My thoughts are with you Jay, Cynthia and the whole family.
Tom Nesbitt
Evie was truly amazing. I have so many fun, fond memories of her from working with her at the Ocala library. She always talked about her children & grandchildren, her pets & her true love Jay. They were such an inspiration as a couple. May you find peace in all the warm memories you have. God bless.
Melissa Jones Cargill
We continue to keep your family in our prayers. We pray that God will give you peace, the peace which transcend all understanding. May the memories that you hold in your heart help you go through this life each day without your mom.
Bobby and Donna Cool8ns
To Jay and all of Evie's family, I am so sorry for your loss. The Lord will comfort you during your time of grief. It's so wonderful that you have beautiful memories of Evie. What a blessing she was to leave you with them. Thank you for sharing some of them with us. Love in Christ, Lori
Lori Meeker
She was our Big Mama in the Delta Zeta annex and even attended our last class reunion with us at DePauw. She loved us and we loved her. We shall miss her.
Marge Verhulst Bradford
News of Evie's illness and death is a shock. We were partners in crime at the Hoopeston Public Library and that is where we got to know each other better. Condolences to Jay and the family for their loss.
Marilyn King
Jay & Family, Don & Family, Sorry for your loss, Evelyn was older as David & I were the younger ones but as you get older one remembers the past better. Playing at Uncle Irvin & Aunt Lorene's, Christmas at the big farm house on US41, I could go on, I wish I could have known Evelyn better. Our Prayers are with you all, Our Love to All. Dan & Nancy.
Dan & Nancy Brier
We are members of St John's UMC in Cotton Plant, Florida, West of Ocala and are very saddened to hear Evie has passed away. I remember the day she and Jay pulled their car up to the church and meeting them for the very first time. In February we sat together at our pastors wedding reception. Lovely couple and I know Jay will miss Evie a great deal. We extend our prayers to the entire family. Many Blessings...
Steve Austin & Mary Austin
We were so sorry to hear about Evelyn. Scott Durr sent me a note saying that she was not well. A few days later, I sent him a note asking for Evelyn's address, so I could send a card. I was shocked when he responded that she had died the previous day. Your obituary was beautiful -- a beautiful picture of a wonderful person. She obviously touched a lot of people and lived life to the fullest. Lots of people will have wonderful memories of Evelyn.
Jane (Dimmich)Troyer and Dennis Sal
We were so saddened to hear of Evelyn’s passing. Sending our thoughts and prayers for comfort at this time. Love and hugs, Chuck, Deb and family
Chuck and Deb Brier family
She was one of the sweetest women I have ever known. Wayne and I will miss seeing her tremendously! Our sympathy goes out to Jay and family. She is now an angel in heaven! Wayne and Barb Gretencord
Barbara Gretencord
This may sound strange, but what a beautiful tribute to your wife/mother! My mom was born and raised in Boswell, working for Irvin Nesbitt before she moved to Hoopeston, IL to marry my dad. I am a member of Hoopeston United Methodist Church and remember her coming to church here. I remember her as a gracious woman, always with a smile on her face. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Betty (Good) Richards
We are devestated to have lost our back door neighbor. Our memories of traveling together in our RV's and going out to dinner will always be with us. Evie's sense of humor forever kept me giggeling, even now when I think about some of her classic remarks I'm laughing in my tears. Jay and family, we know you will miss her terribly, but please know that we are always here for you. God must have needed another angel to take her so quickly.
Karen & Dick Nace
So sorry to Jay and Family. MY prayers go out to all of you. She will be missed.
Barbara Gallentine
Acts 24:15 “And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”
I remember Evie and Jay when they were neighbors to my parents, Harold & Raye Price. They would out run, out play and out party the best. As I read about her life, I am reminded of what a "class act" she is. I actually have gifts from them both that my mother cherished and left for me. This loss has been difficult for my father. My father morns the loss of his friends and family tremendously. Jay and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Sincerely, Mary Kay Price
Mary Price
Oh how I missed Evelyn when she and Jay moved to Ocala. Telephone calls, birthday cards and memories upon memories kept our friendship going. She was a happy person and a treasure to have as a friend. She was kind to every person she met. She and Jay were there for my daughter Melinda at a time when the nation stood still and all air traffic came to a stop on a September day that changed our world as we knew it. God bless the family as we are blessed by knowing and working with Evelyn.
Lou Graham
My heart and mind think of this precious angel every time I step foot into work. Thank you for sharing her with me during her last moments. She was such a huge blsssing. I continue to pray for you all- and will never ever ever forget sweet Evelyn- and neither will Cricket who is blessed with a new leash because of her. Prayers, abundantly, are being sent your way.
She was a second mom to me and always took care of me. I miss her so much and always remember our outings. I can still walk into Bealls and say that's an Evie outfit. Her passing leaves an empty place in my heart but I can hear her saying, "Now Debbie you know life goes on and I'm ok and it is what it is." My condolences to "pops", Cynthia, Mark and the rest of the family. There will never be another Evie.
We met through my cousin Debbie Bischoff. Thank you for always being there for Debbie. Visiting with Evie and Jay was always an adventure.
Tom and Kathy Browne
I just learned of Evie's passing from Cindy. Evie & Jay were our neighbors at Country Oaks & boy did we enjoy bunko and the various card games. I will always remember our yearly trip to Sabastian, on the East coast, with Hal & Ms. Rae Price for our week long card tournament with the girls against the guys. God I miss them both, but I know that both Evie & Ms. Rae are drinking a glass of wine together in heaven. My husband Frank and I send our condolences to Jay and the entire family. Thank you Cindy for taking the time to see me at work, and sharing your mom's passing with me. Our love & prayers to the Hartz family. Sandy T.
Sandra DiCillo Tatasciore