Abaco residents lost a dear friend on Tuesday, September 8 when American entertainer, Joy Martone, passed away unexpectedly.
For 28 consecutive years, Joy participated in concerts and shows throughout Abaco. Together with performers James Mastin, Mel Arnold, Steve Thomas, T.L. Brown, and various Bahamian singers, musicians and school children, she entertained the communities of Green Turtle Cay, Marsh Harbour and Hope Town.
I’m told that, in addition to being an extraordinary singer, Joy was a remarkable all-around entertainer with terrific timing and a captivating comedic presence.
Artist and Green Turtle Cay resident, Alton Lowe, who staged annual musical productions for close to 30 years, says that Joy’s performances were always among the highlights of these events, which never failed to sell out.
Some visitors to Abaco, he says, actually planned their holidays to coincide with her performances.
Off-stage, Joy’s friends and loved ones describe her as a beautiful soul — warm, kind, generous and funny. She hosted elegant parties and was an amazing cook. She adored her family and she loved dogs.
Not long after I launched Little House by the Ferry, Joy – whom I had never met – sent me an incredibly gracious note, complimenting me on the blog.
My stories and photographs, she said, reminded her of the many wonderful times she spent on Green Turtle Cay as part of Alton Lowe’s troupe of performers.
It was clear from her note that she loved Abaco and its people as much as they loved her. She looked forward to returning, she said, and I was excited to have a chance to meet her in person. I’m truly sorry I won’t get that opportunity.
Her family and friends say that Joy would not want to be remembered with sorrow and grief. Instead, they ask those who knew and loved her to turn up the music and sing and dance with “joy” in her honour. And, if you’re so inclined, please contribute in Joy’s name to your favourite charity.