Georgetown Golden Girl, Joy Lane Blair: 1935-2022


Joy Lane Blair, who died on Jan. 5, was born on July 2, 1935 in Jackson, Tennessee, to Larry and Mabel Lane. The oldest of five children, Joy started working at the age of eight helping her cherished grandmother, Wawa, sell her legendary food and baked goods around town. 

She graduated from Union University in 1958 and boarded a train to Washington, D.C., to work at the FBI and attend the George Washington University School of Law at night. Joy later found teaching to be her calling and spent 13 wonderful years in the English department at Frederick Sasscer High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. She loved her students, the small town feel and the close, lifelong friendships created there. She also met the love of her life, Bob, and they married in 1965.

In the early 1970s, Joy moved to Georgetown and opened her antiques shop. Over nearly 40 years in business, Joy became a beloved pillar of the Georgetown community. With her signature beehive, blue eyes and everlasting southern accent, she touched the lives of hundreds of friends, customers, neighbors, fellow shopkeepers, ambassadors, politicians, garbage men, bus drivers and homeless people, all of whom she treated the same.

“Joy Blair & Valentine,” oil on canvas, Nicole Bourgea, 2012. The Peabody Room, D.C. Public Library.

From Blair House Antiques she dispensed love, food, money, clothing, therapy, advice and friendship to whomever walked through her doors. While running her shop, she was able to be present and raise her most prized treasure, her son Bo. She loved being in Georgetown and remained in her home until her passing.

In her retirement, Joy was able to spend much time with her three wonderful grandchildren, Hadley, Grayden and Harper, whom she adored. She also visited and traveled with her loving sisters — Larry Gay, Faith and Pam —  also known as the Golden Girls. Joy loved her dog, Valentine, and walked him daily while running into countless friends. She was a devout Christian and lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, where she was very active her entire life. Joy was an extraordinary person who genuinely loved all people and made them feel special. Above all, she was a devoted and loving mother, sister and grandmother. 

A celebration of her life will be postponed until a time when we can safely gather. 

Joy helped countless homeless people through the years and cared for them deeply. Please consider a donation in her name to the Georgetown Ministry Center (georgetownministrycenter.org).

Joy is survived by her son Bo and his wife Meghan; their children, Hadley, Grayden and Harper of Washington, D.C.; and her sisters Dr. Larry Gay Reagan (Longboat Key, Florida) Faith Callis (Antioch, Tennessee) and Pam Reed (Canton, Ohio) — as well as her nephew, Jason Malone (Kentucky) and niece, Andrea Prewitt (Ohio). She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Blair, and her brother, Ronald Lane.

Information provided by the Blair family.

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