Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Anne Gebbia | 1935-2010

Anne Gebbia, Apollo Beach volunteer and devoted mother, dies

APOLLO BEACH — When she moved here from the outskirts of New York City in the 1970s, Anne Gebbia had more than a little trouble adjusting.

She had grown up in Yonkers and married a police detective. Her husband's dream of retiring to Florida was not one she shared. The almost rural lifestyle of Apollo Beach in that era wasn't exactly what she was used to.

The family had come to visit relatives in Apollo Beach, and during the visit they saw a man putting a "For Sale" sign on his front lawn. That man was another retiree from up North, and his wife hated life in Florida. Mrs. Gebbia and her husband, Dominick, bought the house immediately and lived in it the rest of their lives.

"She was very brave to make that move," said her daughter, Donna Gebbia. "The closest grocery store was in Ruskin. The thing she missed most was fresh Italian bread. She was shocked the first time she bought Cuban bread, and they folded it when they put it in her shopping bag."

It didn't take long before Mrs. Gebbia learned to love Florida and Apollo Beach. In fact, just four years after the family made the move, she was named Woman of the Year because of her volunteer work at the Apollo Beach Rescue Squad.

Mrs. Gebbia died of lung cancer on Feb. 27, just a few weeks shy of her 75th birthday.

At the time the Gebbia family moved here, Apollo Beach was so remote that its medical emergencies were handled by a volunteer ambulance service. Mrs. Gebbia offered her services as a dispatcher for that organization, the Apollo Beach Rescue Squad, and soon was one of its most active volunteers.

"She was very involved, always there to do whatever they needed," her daughter said. "She helped organize all their fundraisers."

It wasn't unusual for Mrs. Gebbia to devote herself fully to any activity she undertook, her daughter said. Mrs. Gebbia had always been vibrant and energetic, and always did even menial tasks perfectly.

"To her, vacuuming the floor meant moving all the furniture," Donna Gebbia said. "Her sister used to say that by 9 o'clock in the morning, she had already cleaned the house, done her shopping and had a pie in the oven."

Besides her volunteer work, Mrs. Gebbia held a couple of jobs after she moved here, and retired after working as a manager for Kmart. But her real career was as a homemaker and mother, and that's where she really excelled.

"She was a great mom," her daughter said. "She was always happy to have our friends over. She accepted everyone. If you were a guest in our house, she always made sure she knew what you liked to eat, even what kind of soap you used, because she wanted you to feel at home."

Besides her daughter Donna, Mrs. Gebbia is survived by her husband, Dominick, to whom she was married for 58 years; her sons, John and Michael; her sister, Eileen Kelly; and a grandson.

Marty Clear writes life stories about area residents who have recently passed away. He can be reached at mclear@tampabay.rr.com.

Anne Gebbia, Apollo Beach volunteer and devoted mother, dies 03/04/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 4, 2010 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …

  2. Photo gallery: 20 mugshots of pro athletes arrested in Florida - 1994 to 2017

    News

    In light of today's arrest of Tiger Woods in Jupiter, Florida on DUI charges, here are 20 booking mugs of professional athletes who have been arrested in Florida, from 1994 (Jennifer …

    Desmond Bryant - 2005 - Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was arrested in Miami on charges of criminal mischief after allegedly "going to a neighbor's house inebriated and causing a commotion." 

  3. For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Erasmo on the mound again

    Blogs

    Coming off Sunday's 6 1/2-hour, 15-inning marathon win over the Twins, the Rays will have the pitcher who finished that game, Erasmo Ramirez, start tonight's game in Texas, first pitch 8:05 Tampa Bay time.

    Ramirez threw only 12 pitches on Sunday so the Rays decided to let him make his planned start tonight, …

  4. Curlew Hills Memory Gardens honors Memorial Day (w/video)

    Blogs

       Curlew Hills Memory Gardens honored those that served during their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with …

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor.
  5. Authorities release name of Tampa woman killed in Temple Terrace apartment fire

    Fire

    TEMPLE TERRACE — Authorities have released the name of a woman who died in a fire that destroyed a dozen units in an apartment complex here Sunday.

    Firefighters battle an early-morning fire Sunday that claimed the life of 28-year-old Tenecia Renee Brannon and left about 30 others homeless. [Temple Terrace Fire Department]