After a glorious 90 year stint on this earth, Joyce Lee Hardcastle Hatcher finally left us on Tuesday April 27, 2021, after a short stay in the hospital and due to complications of a stroke. She began her journey at the family home outside of Plain Dealing, LA on July 8, 1930, being born, the baby of 9, to father Elvie Reece “PawPaw” Hardcastle and mother Bertha Lee Lowe “Maw Maw” Hardcastle. Due to her vibrant red hair, she had the nicknames “Pinkie” and “Red” in High School, where she received her diploma after only 11 years; the next year’s class having to go 12 years! She moved to Shreveport not long after that, living a very independent and vibrant life, uncommon for a 20 year old female in the 1950s. She clerked in title offices, drove a red and white ’56 Chevy Bel Air, and even took excursions with her girlfriends to places like New Mexico, Florida and the Bahamas.
She finally settled down when she met Weldon Hatcher, who started preaching at her family Church of Christ back in Plain Dealing. Her mom, Bertha, would often have the preacher over for Sunday dinner, serving up a typically huge masterpiece of country cooking. Weldon, after dating Joyce for a while, joked that if she could cook half as good as her mother, he would have to marry her! And they did just that, on July 1, 1961. Weldon was a widower with two small children ages 4 and 2, Donna and Gary would be adopted by her at that time, and a third child Jim would be born a couple of years later.
Despite there only being about a mile between the home where she was born to the cemetery where she will lay in peace, in her “middle” years she was quite the traveler, living in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, and taking multiple excursions to Mexico, Honduras, and Costa Rica with a South American missionary group started by a dear friend of hers from church. Even in her final years, she was almost always up for a trip, where ever you wanted to go!
Feisty and outspoken, she loved watching football and baseball, often yelling at the bad calls. She also loved the Hallmark Channel, a dichotomy that was mirrored in her life. She loved getting her hands dirty working in the garden or working on the car, but also liked to get dressed up nice, and cook and bake like a professional. Sometimes gruff but always loving, she would sometimes pick at you, just a bit, before smiling at your response. Always a role model of doing the right thing and helping out if she could, Joyce had many life-long friendships she treasured, some of whom called her the “Energizer Bunny” because she just kept going despite knee and back surgeries, heart attack, breast cancer and stroke.
Preceded in death by her husband Weldon Hatcher, son Gary Hatcher, father and mother, siblings Gracy & Chester Gleason, Reece & Mildred Hardcastle, Gladys & Dick Johnson, Myrtis & HD Bounds, Henderson & Mable Hardcastle, Maxine & Sherrill Kelly, Aline & Shorty Oglesby, and Christine and Jerry Mize.
Survived by daughter Donna Payne, son Jim Hatcher; Grand Children Ashley & Clint Davis, Catherine & Kaleb Gish, and Laura Payne; Great Grand Children Paige & Emma Davis and Dawson Gish, and numerous family and friends.
Visitation will be at the Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden, LA on Sunday May 2, 2021 between 3:00 and 5:00pm. Funeral Service to be held there also on Monday May 3, 2021 at 10:00am with a graveside service to follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery outside of Plain Dealing, LA.
The family wants to extent a big Thank You to all of the caretakers she had these past few years, helping her to live at home and remain vibrant, independent and strong to the end, exactly as she wanted.
Rose-Neath Funeral Home
Minden, Louisiana 71055