Maria Theresa “Boots” Gervacio-Padgett, 70, passed away on Thursday, January 4, 2024 in Lutz, Florida after a courageous 10 year battle with cancer and renal disease. Born in Manila, Philippines in 1953 to Doctors Amado and Lydia Gervacio who migrated to the U.S. Maria entered 6th grade and graduated elementary school in St. Stephen School in Pennsauken N.J returning to the Philippines thereafter. She then attended American School in the Philippines and grew up doing cheerleading and dance. After returning to New Jersey with the family in 1970, she graduated from Camden Catholic High School. During high school, her family started driving down to Florida to spend time at the beach for long weekends, which sparked a lifetime love of the beach and fishing.
No one was surprised when Maria chased the sunshine south to attend University of South Florida where she ran track and worked at the Stable Lounge. Stable Lounge was also where she met the love of her life, Jimmie Padgett, who was on leave from the Army. After carding him for looking underage, Maria talked to Jimmie all night and after that they were inseparable. Maria and Jimmie were married in 1989 and Maria put down roots in Tampa and built her career as a medical professional. The sunny city suited everything about her. She fished and spent time at the beach whenever she could, brought life and laughter to the tables she sat at, hosted Thanksgivings where she served two turkeys – one fried and one roasted – to make sure her guests were all fed, and blessed her friends and family with the irresistible warmth of her jokes.
Her love of life was evident in the way she lived. Even just having a drink on the back porch or FaceTiming with her family, Maria made everyone around her feel the ease and joy of being in her presence. She loved her family above everything and taught us all how to hold our loved ones close and celebrate every holiday, birthday, and graduation even when we weren’t together for the occasion. and she will be deeply missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.
Family and friends are invited to join in Maria’s memorial service on Thursday, 25 January 2024 at 2:30 pm at Loyless Funeral Home (5310 Land O lakes Blvd Land O Lakes, FL 34639). A Celebration of Maria’s Life will follow at 4:00 Lake Padgett Estates, East 4533 Savanah Dr. Land O Lakes, FL 34639 (813) 996-4441