Joyce Ann Hanna Dykes passed away last week. She was a part of my family as far back as I can remember.
Although we were not blood kin, we always considered each other cousins.
Her father was Uncle Delmas to me and my Uncle Marcus Hanna’s brother.
They owned Hanna Brothers Store on Adams Street until they retired many, many years ago.
I spent most of my childhood fishing on Lake Talquin with them and eating fresh-caught bream on Thursday nights at the camp house.
Joyce Ann and Elwood (Jr.), her husband, as well as their sons Jeff and Wallace were there a lot of those times.
Joyce Ann was one of those folks whose life took many turns and I always respected her for her ability to face tragedy and come out on the other side in one piece.
I do not know of anyone who faced the trials and tribulations of life that Joyce Ann dealt with.
At 16 her son Jeff drowned in a pool and I know what she went through at the time because, like family does, we all stepped up to help her.
Her cousin Ted Hubbard and I drove that night to Atlanta and picked up her other son Wallace who was going to Georgia Tech at the time, arriving back about daylight the next morning. It was a bad time for the whole family, losing someone so young.
Eventually she would bury another son, her husband, father and mother.
She lost a very close friend in an accident that she was injured in as well.
On top of all the tragedy, Joyce Ann faced some of her own personal illnesses and although she managed to survive, it was never a easy task.
In addition to family connections, she lived not far from where I was raised in East Quincy.
Jr. even built my dad a custom wooden boat that was 16 feet long and lasted for many years.
My mother always enjoyed Joyce Ann and they were very close over the years.
As a matter of fact, including the Hannas, Tolars and Hubbards, I grew up in a large, extended group of close friends of my parents who I thought for many years were all kin to me.
I have many good memories of those folks and the sad part is that Joyce Ann was the last of those people who had a large impact on my growing-up years.
Now they’re all gone and all that is left for me is the memories of good times and wonderful folks.
On a brighter side, I'm sure there was a lot of hugs going on in Heaven the day she passed on. She had many folks waiting on her and I believe she is in a much better
place with no tragedies or illness to face, just the love of her family.