“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King
To the Editor:
As we sat in the First Baptist Church surrounded by family and friends, many having traveled from out of town and other states, we were reminded what a special community Boca Grande is and always will be.
“You are Boca Grande, don’t ever forget it,” Betsy lovingly reminded us.
We heard what Evelyn gave to you and our beloved community. Whether it was kindness and laughter or a very curly perm that you didn’t quite love, she warmed everyone around her with that infectious smile and compassionate heart. We were comforted hearing the impact she had on your lives. We laughed at the stories of her barreling down the streets on her golf cart with the dog and seeing her at The Temp with her impeccable style that sent you running to Fugate’s for the perfect shade of lipstick.
Evelyn had a flair for life that will be remembered for years to come, even while celebrating her life in our beautiful church surrounded by bright flowers, vibrant clothing and, of course, red and pink lips. She loved our island community, and it loved her back.
What we didn’t get to share that day in church, however, is what Boca Grande has given her and our family. This island has loved us, comforted us, protected us and supported us. It holds our family traditions as well as our memories, and it continues to nourish us year after year – whether being “on the island” or “off.”
In her memory, we will continue to cherish and nurture this narrow piece of land – one that she, and all of us, so deeply love. Our greatest gift to her is to preserve what makes this island special – its history, our community and the beautiful beaches and landmarks within it.
“Never forget your roots,” she often reminded us.
We are humbled and dearly thank you for honoring our wife, mother and grandmother. Each and every hug, phone call, card and gift is deeply appreciated, and we are very grateful for your thoughtfulness.
We would like to especially thank Pastor Gary Beatty and Betty Beatty; The First Baptist Church of Boca Grande; Betsy Joiner; Melissa Joiner-Steyer; Kim Newlin; Mary O’Bannon and family; Glenn and Ashley Scarpa (Scarpa’s Restaurant); Kevin Stockdale (The Temptation); Marcy Shortuse (The Boca Beacon); and JT Turner. Your generosity, friendship and counsel will always be remembered.
She was the best of the best … and so are you. We love you, Boca Grande, and we always will.
The Darna family