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Active Treasure Island volunteer dies at age 47

© St. Petersburg Times
published May 15, 2002

"Treasure Island has lost one of its jewels in the form of Sue Whitt," said Mayor Leon Atkinson.

Ms. Whitt, who among her acts of volunteerism organized the city's Memorial Day Parade and managed the Chamber of Commerce, died Saturday at Bayfront Medical Center. She was 47.

In 1986, Ms. Whitt moved to Treasure Island from Cincinnati and quickly made an impact.

"She was active in the business community and had taken over the Chamber of Commerce as manager and did a good job for the membership and the city," said Charles Weisgerber, the former president of the Treasure Island Hotel Motel Hospitality Association, who knew Ms. Whitt for more than 10 years.

Ms. Whitt helped in the beautification of downtown by selling engraved bricks from her store, Island Movies and More. The bricks were placed downtown at the new clock tower.

"She was always doing something for other people and never asked for anything for herself," Atkinson said.

Weisberger said that when they completed the sale of bricks, they tried to reward Ms. Whitt with a couple of gift certificates to local restaurants. She refused the offer.

"We finally convinced her she was deserving and it was the least we could do to show our appreciation," Weisgerber said.

Bonnie Williams of City Hall described her as a fun-loving, friendly, congenial and upbeat person.

"I think I'll remember her winning smile more than anything," she said.

At a City Commission meeting May 7, Harry Black, the current president of the association, presented a $1,000 check to help Ms. Whitt, who had no health insurance. The donation initiated a special needs account for Ms. Whitt at the Union Bank of St. Petersburg Beach, Weisgerber said. Checks also can be dropped off at Island Movies and More.

Survivors include a brother, Jeff M. Whitt, West Chester, Ohio; two sisters, Vicky A. and Amy H.; and her companion of 16 years, Brenda Robbins, Treasure Island.

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