‘He was larger than life’: Jacksonville Beach legend Sterling Joyce passes away

Jacksonville Beach, FL — Sterling Joyce, the longtime maitre d’ at the Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant in Jacksonville Beach, has passed away, according to the Beaches Museum.

Sterling greeted guests with a warm smile and often told stories about the historic hotel’s famous guests.

“He could tell you who stayed here, Al Capone, and other famous people that stayed here throughout the years,” said Jacksonville Beach Mayor Chris Hoffman. “He was just of another time, he always wore a fedora, he always had either a starfish lapel pin and it was so appropriate, this building that was of 1925 he looked like he was of the era,” she described in detail.

Social media is flooded with people posting stories about what Joyce’s kindness meant to them, including from our own Dawn Lopez.

“He was larger than life, but also so humble. Everything he did was to support other people,” Hoffman emphasized.

Joyce was known throughout the city as the king of beaches hospitality and was officially named a “Beach Legend” in 2014. “It was an honor for us to be able to recognize him truly as a - officially - as a Beach legend, but so many people already knew that he was,” Hoffman, who also serves as the Beaches Museum’s Executive Director, explained.

Hoffman posted her own tribute and told Action News Jax she honored Joyce with a Wave Maker Award in July during his retirement party.

“He was professionally all about serving others and personally all about serving our community,” she pointed out. “He was just a good soul, a good, good person.”

Joyce was 71 years old. He would’ve been 72 on December 14, a birthday he’d usually celebrate by asking for toy donations to help nonprofit organizations, and a mission this community hopes to continue in some way.