THE ELDERLY woman was eager to convey her gratitude to the pharmacist who had given her the advice she needed for continued health.
"Tell Doc I'm drinking my water," she said.
Doc was Joseph Allen Wynn, a revered figure in Southwest Philadelphia, where he had served for so many years and where he was known for his deep concern for his neighbors.
"He did so much for the Southwest Philadelphia community," said his wife, Yvonne. "He was very concerned for the quality of life for the people, especially the elderly."
That was what prompted the elderly woman to express her gratitude to Wynn's wife, even if there was just a touch of irony in her comment.
Joseph Wynn, who died March 16 at age 79, was a pharmacist with a heart. He delivered medicine in the evenings after his workday and on weekends to those who had difficulty getting to his pharmacy.
He dispensed health advice liberally, urging his customers to eat nutritious food and get plenty of fluids - like water.
No wonder they called him "Doc."
He was also concerned for the youth of the neighborhood. He employed neighborhood boys to deliver prescriptions, and was a mentor to a number of future pharmacists who worked under him.
Joseph and his wife were also world travelers, and were especially fond of cruises.
They enjoyed ferreting out exotic destinations. In fact, their last trip in 1999 was to Tahiti, renowned as the home of the mutineers of HMS Bounty, led by Fletcher Christian, in 1789.
They also visited Mexico, Alaska and other tourist sites.
"We found some peace in Alaska in 1993, the year we lost our son, Adam, to leukemia," Yvonne said.
Joseph was born in Philadelphia to Joseph W. Wynn and Viola Coffield Wynn.
He attended West Philadelphia High School, where he met an attractive student named Yvonne Henderson. Both were active in student government and Joseph became class president. They graduated in 1953 and both went on to Temple University, where Joseph studied pharmacology. When they graduated in 1957, they got married.
Joseph worked as a pharmacist for SunRay Drug Inc. and other pharmacies before opening his own drug store at 60th Street and Cedar Avenue. He eventually returned to Southwest Philadelphia, where he worked out of S&S Drug Store at 56th and Catharine. He retired about 10 years ago when his health began to deteriorate.
Joseph was also an active member of St. Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church. He strongly supported the Calantha L. Johnson Scholarship Fund, which gave young church members a chance to get a college education.
He was also an active member of his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi.
Besides his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Patricia Yvonne.