Amy Gross Shimberg, of Tampa, passed away at her home on December 31, 2018 at the age of 94 surrounded by her loving family. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 50 years James H. Shimberg, her parents, Rose and Sydney Gross, and her brother Richard H. Gross.
She is survived by her five children and their spouses: James, Jr. (Elizabeth); Nancy Paikoff (Edward); Robert (Michelle); Richard (Dena); Janet Knust (Andrew), and her 15 grandchildren: Reed, Claire, Jared, Jacob, Jonathan, Taylor, Connor, Jilan, Kyle, Rhett, Chase, Owen, Wyatt, Amelia and Aubrey. She is also survived by her brother Sydney L. Gross and numerous nieces and nephews who she loved very much.
Amy was born and raised in New York City. She earned her bachelor’s degree from New York University and her master’s in Education from Columbia University. She taught school in New York and Florida before marrying her husband Jim in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1957. Jim and Amy moved to Tampa in 1958.
Amy was a tireless community volunteer and many organizations in the Tampa Bay Area benefited from her zealous advocacy and passion. Public education was one of her passions and she served as PTA president of all the schools her children attended and even continued her involvement with the PTA at Chamberlain High School after her youngest graduated. She served on the Citizens Advisory Board to the Hillsborough County School Board and the board of the Hillsborough Education Foundation for many years. Closest to her heart was Meals on Wheels of Tampa. She began serving Meals on Wheels to the homebound in the late 1970s and continued serving every Wednesday until just a few weeks ago. Amy served on the Meals on Wheels board for more than 25 years, twice as president. She loved her recipients and always said that she gained more from delivering meals than she gave. She was instrumental in raising funds for Meals on Wheels and was currently the honorary chairperson of the capital campaign to build a new facility. As recently as Friday she was talking about strategies to approach additional donors. Amy was recognized by many for her wonderful work including receiving the Community Hero Award from the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation in 2014.
The philanthropic contributions of Amy and her husband, Jim, improved the lives of many people in the Tampa Bay area. She was especially proud that she co-chaired a fund-raising campaign with former Governor Bob Martinez to keep Nature’s Classroom going for future generations of sixth graders. She and Jim were honored in 2003 as Philanthropist of the Year by the Tampa Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Through the James and Amy Shimberg Charitable Trust and now the James and Amy Shimberg Foundation Amy and her late husband made a positive impact on the community.
Amy loved her condo at the beach and spent many wonderful times there with family. She was an avid photographer and especially loved photographing her grandchildren and the lovely birds that visited the many bird feeders in her backyard.
Amy believed in the power of positive thinking and she had an incredible will to live. She often surprised her doctors. The family would like to thank her long-time neurologist Dr. Edmund Grant and her dedicated caregivers for their devotion to Amy.
The family will honor Amy’s life at a service at Congregation Schaarai Zedek, 3303 W. Swann Ave., Tampa on Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 1:30 p.m., after a private family burial. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Meals on Wheels of Tampa, 550 W. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa 33603.
Please note the burial is private.