HoneyLu Percy passed away peacefully Oct. 13 in her North Laguna Beach home of 65 years. It was a month before her 90th birthday.
Percy touched everyone she met with her radiant smile, kindness, engaging personality and genteel elegance. She shared with us her wonder of nature, love for animals, enjoyment of the arts, fondness for sweets and enthusiasm for the LA Lakers. She had great taste in music, theatre and fashion. Her strong faith and courageous spirit never faltered during her illness and last year of blindness. Percy inspired us by example to stop and smell the roses.
“HoneyLu” was born Marian R. Lewis, in Haddon Heights, N.J., on Nov. 11, 1922, the daughter of Floyd Lewis and Marian Runkle. Her mother divorced and relocated to Pasadena in 1934 to be near paternal cousins. She married George Percy, who adopted HoneyLu. Her mother divorced again and in 1947 moved her home and millinery shop to Laguna Beach after HoneyLu graduated from Pasadena High School.
Percy worked as an office assistant for a local pediatrician. The doctor’s office was located behind the White House restaurant, in a building that also housed the studio of famed Hollywood portrait photographer William Mortensen. There were several times when models didn’t show up and he’d walk over to the office and ask Percy to pose, which she did.
After retiring, Percy remained active, caring for her garden, reading, watching the Lakers, going to the theatre, shopping, visiting with friends and enjoying Laguna Beach. She was a longtime member of the Bromeliad Society and a patron of the Laguna Playhouse. She loved attending the Lewis family reunions in Ocean City, N.J. In her early years she was an usher at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
We have fond memories of HoneyLu, who never left the house without lipstick or earrings, (“My ears will catch cold without earrings”) in her purple jacket pulling her grocery cart, ‘Duesenberg’ to Pavilions. Along the way she would always stop to say hello and chat with neighbors and shopkeepers. The smiles she brought to all she met, her great style and sense of humor will be missed.
Percy is survived by cousin Guy Hutchinson and wife Nellita of Palm Desert; cousin Wayne Hutchinson and wife Judy of Reno, Nev.,; and many friends and neighbors. Her ashes, along with those of her mother, will be scattered at sea. Her favorite charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind, will happily accept donations in her honor.