Joan Benline Boyd of St. Petersburg, Florida, passed away surrounded by family on August 14, 2019. She was 85 years old.
Born in England to John and Ellen Dobson, Joan grew up alongside her siblings, Gloria, John, and Terry in London’s Cricklewood neighborhood. She moved to the US in 1954, and was joined shortly thereafter by her lifelong friend, Pam Sebestyen, and sister, Gloria Foster. She initially settled in Chicago, Illinois, before later moving to St. Petersburg. She would go on to have three daughters, Janise, Diane, and Kimberly.
In the late 1970s, Joan began her interest in interior design, eventually opening her own studio, Joann’s Interiors, on St. Pete Beach. For nearly 35 years, Joann’s Interiors was known by locals as a landmark on Gulf Boulevard, before relocating to Corey Avenue in 2018. Over that time, Joan built relationships with many St. Pete Beach residents and business owners.
In more recent years, Joan dedicated much of her time to travel, tending her garden, and serving as the heartbeat of a large and loving family. She was at her happiest when surrounded by this family. Annual trips to northeast Georgia and the Carolinas were a chance for Joan to relax alongside her family, sharing meals and laughter in equal measure.
Throughout it all, Joan enjoyed the friendship, love, and devotion of her husband, Larry Boyd. From 1984 onward, they were two halves of a whole. Larry greeted Joan every morning with a cup of tea and a smile, and Joan relentlessly doted on Larry, ensuring he was always cared for and protected. As their family grew and spread across the country, Joan and Larry’s home remained ever at the center - the gathering place for holidays, Sunday cookouts, and grandkid sleepovers.
Above all else, Joan was selfless. She was quick to open her home to family and friends in difficult times, she was a lifelong advocate for animal adoption, and, much to the chagrin of her family, refused to sit at the table until she had first served everyone else.
It is difficult to overstate Joan’s importance to her family. To her three daughters, she was equal parts friend and mom. To her six grandchildren, “Nana” was a model of strength, kindness, and generosity. To her five great-grandchildren, she was a source of love and secret cookies.
For Joan’s husband and family, her absence will be felt immensely, but our memories will live on. She will be loved and missed always.
The family would like to thank the kind and caring team at Suncoast Hospice Mid Pinellas Woodside for their comfort during a difficult time. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made in Joan’s honor to Suncoast Hospice or the SPCA of Tampa Bay.