OBITUARY

Margaret Diane Mathews

21 November, 195622 April, 2021
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64, of Tampa, Florida, passed away on April 22, 2021. She was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and grew up in Forrest City, Arkansas. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and her juris doctor from the University of Florida, Frederic G. Levin College of Law. She was a devoted member of Hyde Park United Methodist Church and served on its board of directors. She was an active member of The Athena Society and served as its president. Margaret was loving, outgoing, intelligent, and humorous; she was also a positive, can-do, make-it-happen type of person. One of her most endearing qualities was that she genuinely cared about people both in her personal and professional lives. She was a loving mother to her two children, Arlyn and Carter, and a loving wife to Scott Ilgenfritz. She was over the moon about her two grandchildren, Ginny and Henry. Margaret had an incredibly successful legal career. For most of her career she was Board Certified in Admiralty and Maritime Law by The Florida Bar. When harbor pilots from around the state had an incident, they knew who to call for help, Margaret. She retired from the Akerman law firm in 2019. In 2016, her peers in the Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA) recognized her as the 2016 Outstanding Lawyer of the Year. In 2017, the HCBA Trial and Litigation Section recognized her with the Michael A. Fogarty In The Trenches Award for her stellar career as a civil litigation attorney. Margaret's legal career was about so much more than her success as a lawyer. She gave back to her profession in so many ways, and she supported and mentored countless attorneys. She was a trailblazer and role model for female attorneys. She served as president of the Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers and president of the HCBA. She served on and chaired the board of directors of Bay Area Legal Services. In 1998, she was the recipient of The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Award. She served on and chaired the board of directors of the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation. She served for 8 years on the Florida Bar Board of Governors. Margaret was preceded in death by her mother, Virginia Rhea Gattinger; her father, Lawrence Glenn Mathews, Sr.; and her brother Lawrence Glenn Mathews, Jr. She is survived by her daughter, Arlyn Gilmore (Kirk); her son, Carter Ilgenfritz; Scott Ilgenfritz; her sister, Arlyn Mathews Hawley (Al); her siblings, Sue Gattinger Farris (Cole); David Gattinger (Kathy); and many nieces, nephews, and friends. The family will host a visitation on April 29, 2021, at 6:00 pm at Blount & Curry Funeral Home at 605 South MacDill Avenue. The funeral service will take place at 11:00 am on April 30, 2021, at Hyde Park United Methodist Church. Please be aware that seating is limited. Guests are encouraged to view the service online at hydeparkumc.org/MargaretMathews. A reception will be held at Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Hyde Park United Methodist Church, Bay Area Legal Services, or the Community Foundation for the Athena Society Women's Educational Fund.

  • FAMILY

  • Margaret was preceded in death by her mother, Virginia Rhea Gattinger; her father, Lawrence Glenn Mathews, Sr.; and her brother Lawrence Glenn Mathews, Jr. She is survived by her daughter, Arlyn Gilmore (Kirk); her son, Carter Ilgenfritz; Scott Ilgenfritz; her sister, Arlyn Mathews Hawley (Al); her siblings, Sue Gattinger Farris (Cole); David Gattinger (Kathy); and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Services

  • Gathering of Friends and Family

    Thursday, 29 April , 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Friday, 30 April , 2021

Memories

Margaret Diane Mathews

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Caryl Delano

30 April 2021

Margaret’s untimely passing is a loss to her family, her friends, and to the Tampa legal community. In short, a loss to the world. Margaret adored her family and was so proud of her children. We exchanged emails in March right after Margaret returned home from visiting Arlyn and her family. After COVID had prevented her from seeing them for a year, Margaret was thrilled to have spent time with Ginny and Henry. I am so grateful that she had that last visit. My deepest condolences to all who loved Margaret.

Richard (Rick) Nielsen

30 April 2021

Margaret will be greatly missed. She was a engaging, brilliant, strong and great advocate and counsellor. More than that, she was a better person and friend. She will be greatly missed. May God comfort Scott, their children and grandchildren in their loss.

Rick

Dick Woltmann

30 April 2021

Margaret is a true legend in the legal community and she is especially dear in the hearts of the staff and supporters of Bay Area Legal Services. Bay Area has been honored to have her ardent support for almost 40 years. When our Volunteer Lawyers Program started in 1982, she was one of the first to sign up, and took over 22 cases, many to protect survivors of domestic violence. She was a leader on Bay Area’s Board of Directors serving as Chairperson, and a Founding Member of our giving circle, the Pearl Society. I’m certain many of our supporters today got involved in our mission of bringing justice to the underprivileged, thanks to Margaret. She will be deeply missed by all of us and we are forever grateful for her meaningful advocacy and friendship. We are heartbroken by this loss and send our sincerest condolences to the family.

Dick Woltmann, Joan Boles and Bay Area Legal staff

Wendy Mitchler

29 April 2021

Dear Scott, Arlyn and Carter:
I am stunned and saddened to hear of Margaret’s sudden passing. Margaret was one of the first people I met during our freshman year of law school and a dear friend to me during those years. I have so many fond memories of her. She was the quintessential Steel Magnolia- so conscientious, talented and driven. Margaret was the “smart” one in our study group. She stayed up day and night to write her law review article only to have me walk off with her finished product right before the deadline (she found it just in time). She was also generous and gracious. I would go to her apartment, sit in her rocking chair and she would share her Tab and listen to my boyfriend problems. I will always be grateful to her for saving me from getting kicked off Law Review by editing my less than stellar article during a very dark time in my life.
Margaret was loads of fun- we would run the “trail” after class and then weigh ourselves at Publix (she was always 5 pounds lighter) and she gave me an honorary sooie hog hat so we could act silly. As her partner in crime, I fielded calls from her mom when we “shared” an apartment in Tampa so her mom would think she was living with me--and not Scott.
I can't forget how devoted Margaret was to her family. She adored her big brother Larry and faithfully visited her grandmother while in Gainesville. At the same time she offered Scott unwavering support in his desire to attend law school in Gainesville. And, I still have the toddler picture Margaret sent me of her Darlin’ Arlyn (before Carter was born).
As you know more than anyone, Margaret was an extraordinary individual. I know how much you will miss her. My sincere condolences.

Wendy Mitchler

Susan Etheridge

29 April 2021

There are people who come into your life and make a significant, lifelong impact. For me, Margaret was one of those people. She was my mentor at the beginning of my legal career. She was tough, but she was also extremely supportive. Margaret modeled excellence in every facet of her life, including her career, family, and community. I will forever be grateful for her guidance, support, and friendship. To her family, may your grief pass quickly, may you find peace, and may joy and happiness return to your hearts.

Catherine Novack

28 April 2021

I am shocked and saddened by Margaret’s untimely departure from this world. Such a huge loss to our community, profession and especially her family who are in my thoughts and prayers. With sympathy, Catherine Novack

George Gramling

28 April 2021

Margaret was an inspiration to all. She was a superb lawyer and a full- of - life, positive, smiling and witty leader. Our hearts go out to Scott and the family. We will miss Margaret but rejoice in her wonderful and inspirational legacy.

Julie Sneed

28 April 2021

Margaret was a blessing to me and anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. She was a kind, thoughtful friend and mentor. She poured her heart into everyone and everything she touched. I’m grateful to have known her and I will miss her. My deepest condolences to Margaret’s family. Rest in peace beloved Margaret.
Julie Sneed

lara Tibbals

28 April 2021

My love and adoration for Margaret is difficult to express in words. She was a shining star who radiated with joy. Her exuberance for life itself was evident to everyone around her. She provided me with so many wonderful "world according to Margaret" tips and tricks over the years that I could write a book. One that seems especially poignant on this occasion was her philosophy that sometimes we have to go through really difficult times so that we can be a good friend to others when they face something similar. My love and prayers go out to Arlyn, Carter and their entire family. Margaret was an incredible person and I am truly blessed to have known her.

Moira Burke

28 April 2021

When Margaret entered a room, the scene changed from black and white to technicolor. I first met Margaret 37 years ago when she came to my office for new contact lenses. Her jaw was wired shut.
Nevertheless, by the end of the exam, I was a member of the Funny Foot Club and a life-long friend. I am very, very sad.
Moira Burke MD

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Biography

She was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and grew up in Forrest City, Arkansas. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and her juris doctor from the University of Florida, Frederic G. Levin College of Law. She was a devoted member of Hyde Park United Methodist Church and served on its board of directors. She was an active member of The Athena Society and served as its president. Margaret was loving, outgoing, intelligent, and humorous; she was also a positive, can-do, make-it-happen type of person. One of her most endearing qualities was that she genuinely cared about people both in her personal and professional lives. She was a loving mother to her two children, Arlyn and Carter, and a loving wife to Scott Ilgenfritz. She was over the moon about her two grandchildren, Ginny and Henry. Margaret had an incredibly successful legal career. For most of her career she was Board Certified in Admiralty and Maritime Law by The Florida Bar. When harbor pilots from around the state had an incident, they knew who to call for help, Margaret. She retired from the Akerman law firm in 2019. In 2016, her peers in the Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA) recognized her as the 2016 Outstanding Lawyer of the Year. In 2017, the HCBA Trial and Litigation Section recognized her with the Michael A. Fogarty In The Trenches Award for her stellar career as a civil litigation attorney. Margaret's legal career was about so much more than her success as a lawyer. She gave back to her profession in so many ways, and she supported and mentored countless attorneys. She was a trailblazer and role model for female attorneys. She served as president of the Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers and president of the HCBA. She served on and chaired the board of directors of Bay Area Legal Services. In 1998, she was the recipient of The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Award. She served on and chaired the board of directors of the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation. She served for 8 years on the Florida Bar Board of Governors.