Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Realtor Cary Bond Thomas dies at 68

ST. PETERSBURG — Cary Bond Thomas worked hard on her image. She lined her spacious closets with St. John knits from Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. For many years, anyone who drove down Brightwaters Boulevard in Snell Isle saw her smiling face on nearly every For Sale sign, eyes brighter than those of the limited-edition Barbie dolls she collected.

The Realtor whose name was once synonymous with high-end homes worked hard for every seven-figure listing she sold, often starting her day hours before dawn. She closed deals at 7:30 New Year's morning and at midnight. When one seller went camping, she persuaded him to stand outside a pay phone at Yosemite National Park to take phone calls at predetermined times.

Ms. Bond Thomas died Thursday at Woodside Hospice of colon cancer. She was 68.

She had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, but continued to work and was working on real estate listings until weeks ago — using the same kind of tenacity that defined her career.

She was born in St. Petersburg, the eldest daughter of Ninian Bond, who came to St. Petersburg in 1920 and co-founded a string of hotels. Childhood rheumatoid arthritis kept her out of school until the fourth grade, but she caught up.

She married Bill Thomas while still in high school, and graduated from what is now Eckerd College. She taught English and Latin in Pinellas County schools, and kept working during a 1968 teacher strike, said Frank Blandford, her longtime boyfriend.

Her marriage to Thomas had ended by the mid 1970s. Another marriage to a St. Petersburg lawyer did not last long.

Ms. Bond Thomas discovered a new drive, one that would change her life. She got her real estate license in 1983, and quickly established herself as someone who could not be outworked or outmaneuvered.

"She would get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to start working her plan," said Blandford, 81, a real estate man himself. "She had a workbook with names and phone numbers. She was determined to do what needed to be done that day."

She drove a Mercedes coupe around Snell Isle and Shore Acres, stopping to open the window and chat with residents. She copied her newsletter at Sir Speedy and mailed it to everyone.

Ms. Bond Thomas was named a charter member of the million-dollar sales club of the Tourtelot real estate company in 1984. Four years later, the company honored her as its top overall producer with more than $4 million in sales.

Work was her primary outlet, though she also enjoyed shopping. She had lunch with the same 11 girlfriends on Fridays at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for 40 years.

"She was not a Realtor at lunch, she was our friend," said Carmen Moore, who always sat next to her.

To celebrate the opening of a new Hampton Inn, the women threw themselves a pajama party as the hotel's first guests. They came with a change of clothes in an overnight bag, Moore recalled, and had just settled in when "here comes Cary with a valet carrying her clothes. We had on housecoats. Cary had on a cashmere robe."

She loved old movies but allowed herself few hobbies. "We would go out of town, to New York or London," Blandford said. "She would say, 'I've got to go back to St. Pete,' and cut the whole thing short."

Ms. Bond Thomas did more than sell real estate in her home town. She was a sustaining member of the Junior League of St. Petersburg and a member of the Stuart Society of the Museum of Fine Arts.

The only blemish on her reputation occurred in 2005. Ms. Bond Thomas acknowledged having forged an elderly man's signature in 2003 on a listing agreement for an $800,000 home she wanted to sell. She faced no criminal charges over the incident and continued to sell real estate.

"It was just a bad time and pretty emotional," said Blandford, who claimed Ms. Bond Thomas was trying to wrest back a listing someone else had gained unfairly.

The lunch group supported her. "We told her to just move on from these things," Moore said. "You move on, so nobody ever talked about it anymore."

Ms. Bond Thomas left Tourtelot Brothers and eventually joined Hofacker & Associates in 2010.

"She was not an easy personality," said Mary Evertz, a former St. Petersburg Times writer who started the lunch group more than 40 years ago. "But she wasn't in a business where being nice is a prerequisite. And she was at the top of her game, there's no getting around it."

Andrew Meacham can be reached at ameacham@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2248.

Cary Bond Thomas

Born: April 1, 1943.

Died: Aug. 11, 2011.

Survivors: Mother Cary Bond; daughter Cary Thomas Rahall; son Dr. Bond Thomas; sisters Judy Bond Codding and Barbara Bond Madison; five grandchildren.

Service: To be arranged.

Realtor Cary Bond Thomas dies at 68 08/11/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 12, 2011 6:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.