Remembering Miss Joy: St. Marks community reflects on passing of owner of historic grocery store

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 6:38 PM EDT
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ST. MARKS, Fla. (WCTV) - Joy Brown, better known as Miss Joy, the owner of Bo Lynn’s, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 86.

The historical spot in St. Marks had been under her management since the 1960s.

The community has nothing but positive words to say about Brown. They told WCTV that she lived up to her name at the small grocery market, and she will be missed dearly.

When residents heard of her passing, it shocked the small water-front town.

Stanley West, owner at Riverside Café right next door to Bo Lynne’s, said, “It was kind of tough because we always depended on her. She has the little store that has everything in it.”

West said he remembers Brown as a spunky woman who always wanted what’s best for their community.

“It was one of those things that she was always the one that was pushing to make sure that things got done when they needed to get done, and she was a very hard worker,” West added.

Bo Lynne’s has stood the test of time over the years as it survived going through natural disasters, and still Brown was right there to take care of her home away from home and those who lived or visited St. Marks.

“She was a complete pillar,” said Andy Lynn, co-owner at Lynn’s Brothers Seafood. “She offered credit, which is virtually unheard of, and some people abused it, I’m sure, and some people didn’t, which I’m thankful for.”

If that name Lynn sounds familiar, it’s because Andy Lynn’s aunt and uncle originally owned Bo Lynn’s Grocery before Brown did.

Lynn said he grew up with Brown’s three sons and watched over the years how much Bo Lynn’s went through with natural disasters, but still continued to stand the test of time.

“A big loss, a big loss I dreaded that day to come, but I knew eventually it would. But it was a total shock, I haven’t forgot about it yet and never will,” said Lynn. “She was a good person, the best, best ever. she’s going to be missed.”

It’s unclear what will happen to Bo Lynn’s after Brown’s passing, but residents told WCTV that they hope the building will stay around.

According to Brown’s obituary, she will be laid to rest on Saturday at the St. Marks Cemetery.

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