Joy Blake Donat

Aug 19, 2022 | Members Corner

I grew up in Pinehurst and spent summers at Wrightsville Beach.  It was those summers, with all the smells of the salt air, marsh and ocean that solidified my love for coastal North Carolina. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989 and began my professional career in the Washington, DC, area working in marketing and PR for the high-tech industry. I moved to Denver, CO,  in 1997 and ultimately started my own business helping companies and start-ups in this industry with their PR and marketing needs.

After an illness that threatened my father’s life, I moved back to North Carolina in 2004 to be closer to family. The allure of the coast and a life-long dream to live in Wilmington lead me to settle here in late 2005. I got my real estate license shortly after this move with hopes of helping my father with his commercial real estate in Pinehurst. I now sell residential real estate on the coast and in Pinehurst as well as manage my commercial real estate in Pinehurst.

I grew up Presbyterian but had always been drawn to the Episcopal Church.  It was an introduction to Richard Rhodes at the Oceanic that inspired a visit to St. Andrews on the Sound and ultimately to St. Paul’s. I joined St. Paul’s in February of 2020 and was confirmed during the Bishop’s visit. It was a very significant day for me because I made a solid commitment to the Episcopal Church.   This year, I started my first year of EfM which, while completely out of my comfort zone, has expanded my knowledge of the Old Testament and provided a broad perspective on many topics.

I met my husband Luke and we married at the Lebanon Chapel in Airlie Gardens in 2008.  Luke is a fishing guide, and we live at Inlet Point with our two dogs, Eve, a Boykin Spaniel and Finley, a Terrier Mix. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time on the water with Luke, golfing, hiking, and an occasional horse-back ride.  I also really love pretty water and we try to take at least one trip a year to the Florida Keys!

I feel so grateful to call St Paul’s my church family!