Lloyd Bradford Lewis was a native to the Eastern Shore, an outdoorsman, and a successful businessperson and real estate developer.
Lewis died Saturday at age 84.
Lewis was the owner of a successful bar bearing the name M.R. Ducks and an associated T-shirt shop of the same name. M.R. Ducks is a mainstay of Ocean City.
The family has sold shirts emblazoned with with M.R. Ducks dating back to 1983, according to a 1992 Daily Times report. The name M.R. Ducks alludes to a poem on a conversation between two duck hunters, “M.R. Ducks, M.R. not” (“Them are ducks”).
Lewis and his wife, Gail, first opened a gazebo bar without a name in 1982, The Daily Times reported in 2004. The business would later take the name M.R. Ducks after the poem, which the couple trademarked in the bar’s early years.
The Salisbury native was a veteran of the U.S. Airforce, with which he served six years in active service, as well as on the reserves and active reserves, two and four years, respectively. After the military, Lewis and his wife and son John moved to Ocean City, where he launched his career in real estate.
To some, Lewis was “more like a father” than an employer. Sean Coughlin, a longtime employee and friend of the M.R. Ducks founder, said he worked for Lewis in various capacities “every decade” since the 1970s.
“He would make sure you stayed on the straight-and-narrow,” Coughlin said, later adding, “If I ever got in trouble, I’d call Lloyd Lewis.”
Coughlin currently operates the Talbot Inn in Ocean City on Lewis’ behalf, and said over the weekend, his inbox on social media was “flooded” with messages of support from longtime customers of the bar and grill and the hotel, as well as several former J-1 visa student workers from up to five years ago.
The late owner was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing, Coughlin said.
Lewis is survived by his wife, Gail Turner Lewis; and sons John Carl Lewis and Stephen Turner Lewis and their families, all of Ocean City.