From the Palm Beach Post and the Coastal Observer
BOYNTON BEACH – Lucille Scott, who along with her late husband operated Lucille and Otley’s family restaurant for 63 years, has died after suffering a stroke at Bethesda Memorial Hospital. She was 98.
Born Marie Lucille Tuck in 1913 in Loganville, Ga., near Atlanta, Mrs. Scott moved to Boynton Beach her senior year of high school and met Otley Webb Scott, who had relocated earlier from North Florida.
The couple started their first place, a pie shop, right next to Briny Breezes in 1936.
Customer demand led them to begin serving meals. In a year the five-seat restaurant had moved next door to a place with 50.
World War II briefly shut them down, but they reopened in 1945 as “the Snack Shack.”
It later moved to the Boynton Beach Casino, a resort in Ocean Ridge where Oceanfront Park now stands.
In 1948, Lucille and Otley’s opened at 1021 Federal Highway. In the restaurant’s heyday the faithful would drive from as far away as Miami-Dade County to line up for a meal inside the place with the fantastic service and great food.
“It was a big place. Four hundred seats,” her daughter Julie Kemp recalled. “People came from Jupiter and Miami. They came from far and wide. The lines would wrap around the restaurant.”
A favorite was “chicken shortcake,” creamed chicken and gravy over a homemade biscuit. And cinnamon rolls to die for.
And the pies. Lemon was tops, with its “mile-high” meringue. Coconut. Apple. Pecan. Chocolate. Strawberry shortcake.
The Scotts retired in 1978, handing the business at 1021 Federal Highway to their son, Jerry. He retired two years later and went on an around-the-world sailing trip, but later vanished at sea.
His son Steve ran the restaurant briefly, but couldn’t keep up with the big chains.
Lucille and Otley’s served its last lemon meringue pie June 14, 1998.
“You’d think somebody had died, people are so sad,” Lucille said that night.
Two months later, the city voted to buy the 10,000-square-foot building with a $569,000 federal grant and renovate it. It now hosts scores of seniors every day.
“They were very happy to work with the city in making the building available,” city recreation and parks director Wally Majors said.
“It was not enough money,” Julie Kemp said. “It was a steal for the city.”
In recent years, even as Mrs. Scott’s health failed, she could be seen at city commission meetings with her caregiver, Carole Volkman, who railed at commissioners considering cutting hours at the senior center. That building still was part of her.
Otley Scott died 10 years ago, but his beloved business partner carried on with life.
Attorney and author Harvey Oyer, past president of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County and son of Boynton Beach pioneer Harvey Oyer, Jr., recalls growing up with Lucille and Otley’s. He remembers a little thing that spoke volumes.
“There were fresh cut roses on the table every day. They lived across the street from the restaurant and Lucille had a beautiful rose garden. She grew those roses with care.”
Marie Lucille Scott is survived by daughters Julie Kemp of Boynton Beach and Celia Weatherhead of Moreland Hills, Ohio; two grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. A “celebration of life” will be held at the Ocean Club of Florida in Ocean Ridge; the date is pending.