Remembering Judy Mandt
Judith Marcum Mandt passed away Friday, August 24th. Born September 25th, 1940, in Lackey, Kentucky, Judy was the descendent of pioneer families in the state. Her family moved to Lexington during the Second World War while her father, Colonel Alfred L. Marcum (USA), served in the Pacific.

A 1958 graduate of Lafayette High School, Judy went on to attend the University of Kentucky. In 1961 she married Richard D. Mandt. Over the next two decades they lived in Kentucky, Miami and Connecticut. In 1977 she co-founded The Flyer magazine with her husband. In the 1980s she attended Miami-Dade College and was the editor of the student newspaper, The Catalyst.

In 1988, Judy and her family moved to Tampa. She attended the University of Tampa. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree, Magna Cum Laude with Honors Program Distinction in 1994, double majoring in writing and English. Among the highlights of her time there was once again becoming editor of the school newspaper, The Minaret. Her love for the University of Tampa continued long after graduation with countless hours of volunteer work as well as considerable donations to the school and the establishment of the Judith Mandt Endowment supporting the Writers at the University series.

In 1996, Judy earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Bennington College with a concentration in poetry. She went on to publish several works of poetry and her interests in the field continued to develop, eventually settling on Irish poets and the English Jesuit priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

In addition to her degree-seeking academic work, Judy became fluent in French in the mid-1990s through several terms spent at the Institut de Français in Villefrance-sur-Mer, France. She also completed a course of study at the London School of Garden Design in Chelsea.

An avid traveler, Judy spent much of her time later in life in Europe, particularly the United Kingdom and Ireland. Struggling with a fear of flying early on, she made her first trip to Europe on the Queen Elizabeth II. Once comfortable flying, she made the trips more often though she still did several more crossings on the QE2 and one on the Queen Mary II during its maiden season. Occasionally in more of a hurry, she flew on the Concorde several times, including on one of its final flights.

Spending time in England, Judy developed a love of formal English gardens. This was reflected in the design and installation of elaborate gardens at her Davis Islands home. Her love of gardening and her love of writing eventually came together in her first novel, The Katherine Gardens, published in June under her maiden name, Judith Marcum. Before her death, she completed the sequel, Home at Hillside, to be published later this year.

Ultimately, a person is remembered not for certificates and degrees or stamps in a passport. A person is remembered for the love they have shown and the lives they have touched, and Judy is well remembered by many for both of these.

She is remembered for her sensitivity, her loyalty, her brilliant wit and her remarkable acumen. She is remembered by many as the smartest person they ever met, others as the most generous, and still some lucky others as both of these. There seemed to be nothing she couldn't do, and she was fiercely independent enough to do anything that she wanted to and nothing that she didn't.

To her husband and children she will be remembered as a loving and devoted wife and mother who would make any sacrifice for her family. And to her grandchildren she will always be "Grammy," who could play any song they asked for on the piano, in any key, without sheet music; who never made fudge without letting them lick the spoon; who held onto ladybugs for weeks at a time, waiting to release them into the garden when her grandchildren were there and could share the ladybug cookies she made for the occasion; who planted gardens and built playhouses for them; who made matching blankets for her granddaughter and her dolls; who had more vintage toys than a museum, and the time and love and energy to sit on the floor and play.

Judy was preceded in death by her parents, Colonel Alfred L. Marcum and Nell Smith Marcum, and her brother, Major Alfred L. Marcum, Jr. She is survived by her brother Tom Marcum, husband Dick Mandt, sons Joe, Marc, and Sam, stepson Rick, and grandchildren William, Nick, Peter, Charlie, Lindsey, Maxine, Miles and Karolyn.

A memorial service will be held at Hyde Park Presbyterian Church, 1309 West Swann Ave., Tampa, Fla., at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 6.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Judith Mandt Endowment at The University of Tampa which supports Writers At The University Series, c/o Dan Gura, Development and University Relations, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.


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