Roy Mortensen

If a Josephine community history lesson was required of all Josephine residents and prospective residents of this wonderful community, Roy Mortensen would be the professor! An iconic figure that loves to share tales of the bayou as the community grew, Roy and his family were part of the evolution of the modern era of Josephine’s growth from dirt roads, fishing camps and country stores, to the very popular “end of the road” village that residents and visitors enjoy today.

Roy grew up in Pensacola, and graduated from Escambia County High in 1960. He is one of four children, one brother and two sisters, who enjoyed their childhood traveling from Pensacola to Spring Branch and the surrounding bayous, living their summer family weekends on their Spring Branch property, where they explored the wilderness and waterways around their small family compound. After graduation from high school, Roy enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served a four year tour of duty as an aircraft maintenance specialist, and developed skills and knowledge that would lead to a long term career in civilian capacity for the United States government. He also worked for a brief period for Escambia Treating in Pensacola as a Payroll Accounting clerk, but found that there had to be more in life than listening to disgruntled employees complain that their weekly payroll check was off three cents! He attended Pensacola Junior College and a local business college, but was soon drawn to the working world as a maintenance mechanic for the federal government. He spent 36 years with the government, and the last four years as a maintenance inspector on assignment to the Navy in San Diego which required occasional trips to the west coast base.

Roy moved to the family homesite in Spring Branch in 1992, and he and his father built a house on an adjacent second lot, and continued upgrade and improvement on the boat docks and surrounding structures. Roy retired in 1997, to commit more time and effort to sharpen his skills in boatbuilding, fishing and shrimping, and enjoying the leisure life on the bayou. He built a shrimp boat that he uses today to provide shrimping trips in the local bays and bayous for family, friends and visitors. As a result of his reputation and his love of the water, Roy was chosen by British Petroleum to be the focus of a short video to demonstrate to the interested media sources and viewing public that the bay waters of south Alabama had recovered from the oil spill, and catching local shrimp was safe for consumption. The video went viral on YouTube, and Roy enjoyed his Celebrity status for sometime as the clip circulated in email, Facebook and Twitter. Roy was the perfect Ambassador for Josephine, and deserved the recognition and accolades.

Roy enjoys the weekend visits from his daughter and her husband and their son and daughter to the family escape, and welcomes his neighbors for barbeques and any excuse to have a fish fry in his world class rolling smoker and deep fry. Roy is a self-proclaimed “collector” of “stuff,” and prides himself on saving things that may be needed for repair or replacement. And he is particularly proud of his collection of boats, and the functional marina that houses his fleet. By choice, he is a “homebody” that enjoys visits from his family, friends and neighbors, and a life style that allows him to “doing nothing and resting afterwards.” What a great life style! And a great individual! Roy, thank you!


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