Obituary of Mary Wyatt Upham Allen
Mary Wyatt Upham Allen, Passed away peacefully on May 19th, 2023. Mary Wyatt was a true St. Petersburg native. She was born at St. Anthony’s Hospital on February 8, 1933, to Nathaniel Woodbridge Upham and Rachel Rushton Upham. Her father and Grandfather (Nathaniel W. Upham and Nathaniel J. Upham) were pioneer developers in St. Petersburg from 1919-1959, They and Mary Wyatt’s Uncle, William W. Upham, were the developers of St. Petersburg Beach and the Shore Acres Developments.
Like her parents, Mary Wyatt was a perpetual “Doer and Giver” in her beloved St. Petersburg community. She was involved in every aspect of community life, betterment, and support for the St. Petersburg community. In 1997, The Suncoasters of St. Petersburg recognized her contributions to her beloved St. Petersburg, by naming her the first Ms. Sun. The title “Mr. Sun” was previously reserved to honor and recognize local businessmen and leaders for their contributions to St. Petersburg in business and charitable involvement. However, in 1997, there was no other candidate whose resume came close to matching Mary Wyatt’s work on local philanthropic boards, City committee appointments, volunteerism, or philanthropy. She was the first woman to receive this honor.
In the late 1950’s Mary Wyatt and her husband, Tom Chris Allen, Jr., returned to St. Petersburg after graduating from Vanderbilt University. Mary Wyatt began volunteering and continued to serve her community for more than seven decades.
Mary Wyatt volunteered for an impressive roster of local charitable organizations including: Junior League of St. Petersburg, Centennial Celebration Activities Committee, St. Petersburg Historical Society, Florence Crittenton Home, Young Women’s Residence, The Arts Center, YWCA/USF Family Village, All Children’s Hospital, Bayfront Center Foundation (Mahaffey Theater), Suncoast Center for Community Health, RSVP Retired Senior Volunteer Program, The Community Camping Council, Beacon House, Christmas Toy Shop, Paint St. Pete Proud, Shorecrest Mother’s Club, Cub Scout Den Mother, YWCA, Headstart, Community Regional Blood Center Foundation, Florida Blood Services, Community Services Council, St. Anthony’s Foundation, Live Arts Peninsula, Friends of Eckerd College Library, The Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg Health Facilities Authority, Bayfront Health Foundation, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Salvation Army Advisory Board-Development, Family Service Centers,
In addition to her community volunteer work Mary Wyatt was appointed and served on many City and Regional boards and committees, including: Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, Health and Human Services Board, District 5, St. Petersburg Housing Authority, City of St. Petersburg Environmental and Development Commission, Florida Commission on Community Service, Pinellas County License Board,
Pinellas County Arts Council, Tampa Bay Regional Planning, Area Agency on Aging, St. Petersburg Social Services Allocations Committee, St. Petersburg Firefighter's Pension Board, St. Petersburg Police Pension Board, St. Petersburg Goals Committee for Housing, St. Petersburg Housing Task Force Member.
Mary Wyatt has been recognized for her lifetime of service to the community by many organizations for which she has given so much of her time. A few of the ones, of which she was most proud were Leadership St. Petersburg’s Community Service Award, Queen of Hearts Community Service Award, City of St. Petersburg’s Senior Hall of Fame, St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce’s Community Service Woman of the Year Award, National Society of Fundraising Executives - Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer of the Year. Community Services Council - Award for Services to Children, St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce - Contribution to the Betterment of the Community Award, United Way of Pinellas County - Alexis de Tocqueville Society Human Service Award, St. Anthony’s Health Care Foundation - First Roy G. Harrell Leadership award for Community Service, YWCA - Virginia Lazzara Service Award.
Throughout Mary Wyatt’s lifetime of service to her community, she had the privilege and pleasure of working with and mentoring many of our Cities, Counties, and State’s future volunteers and leaders, most of whom became lifelong friends.
Mary Wyatt not only loved and supported her community, but she was also a loving mother to her two sons, Tom Chris Allen lll and Nathaniel Upham Allen, Sr., and to her late grandson, Nathaniel Upham Allen, Jr. Mary Wyatt was predeceased by her parents, Nathaniel W. Upham & Rachel Rushton Upham, her brother, Nathaniel Rushton Upham, and sister Marion Upham Ballard, her husbands, Tom Chris Allen Jr., and George Freiss. She is survived by her sons and their Spouses, Tamara Brown Allen, and Mary Amanda Hand. Step Grandchildren Jordan Yanow, Jamie Yanow, Cameron Cottrill, Clayton Cottrill, and Natalie Cottrill. As well as her brother-in-law William Cook Ballard and his children and grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, June 1st at St. Raphael Catholic Church at 1 pm in St. Petersburg, Florida.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a contribution in Mary Wyatt's memory to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic and Food Bank.
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