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Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home & Cemeteries

5100 Pontchartrain Blvd, New Orleans, LA

OBITUARY

Joyce V. Hankel

January 21, 1931June 5, 2019
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Joyce V. Hankel passed away at her home in New Orleans on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at the age of 88.

Wife of the late Nathan Joseph Hankel.

Beloved mother of Richard Hankel, Daryl Hankel (Yordanka), Joycelyn Hankel, and the late Alan Hankel (Susan) and Nathan Hankel (Hallie).

Grandmother of Alexander Hankel, Andrew Yung Hankel, Jennifer H. Joy (Jason), and R.J. Hankel (Natalie).

Great grandmother of Pierson Hankel, Emersyn Hankel, Ridley Joy, and Evangeline Joy.

Sister of Hermanie “JoAnn” Gauthreaux, Linda Blanchard (Jerry), Paul Gauthreaux (June), and the late Frank Verbos (the late Jean), Rita Murphy (the late Ralph), Helen Hastings (the late Warren), Spencer Gauthreaux (Keith Matherne), and James Gauthreaux (Donna).

Daughter of the late Frank Verbos and Lillian Gauthreaux. Stepdaughter of the late George Gauthreaux.

She is survived by several nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

After all of her children were in school, she ventured out into the business world, working in the Savings and Loan industry. She spent many years with Dryades Savings and Loan and retired as the Branch Manager of the Read Road Office. Her greatest pleasures came from being surrounded by her children, family, and friends. A chance to play games with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren was a time of great enjoyment. Of particular delight was the Christmas season when she derived more happiness from giving than receiving. Joyce was also generous with her time helping family and friends run errands, go to doctor visits or a chance to go to a movie. She and Nathan were in a dance group for many years and were the hit at the Guido Lip Sync when they played Archie and Edith Bunker singing “Those Were the Days”! Organizing summer picnics where cousins and extended family and friends made road trips for a day of swimming, softball, a hayride, and great potato salad was another one of her talents.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Mass at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd in New Orleans, on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 2 PM. Visitation will begin at 12 PM. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society, 2605 River Rd New Orleans, LA 70121.

To view and sign the family guestbook please visit www.lakelawnmetairie.com

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, June 15, 2019
  • Memorial Mass Saturday, June 15, 2019

Memories

Joyce V. Hankel

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Leonard Noto

June 15, 2019

Darryl and Family, Anne and I extend our condolences on the loss of your mother. I am sorry we will not be able to attend the memorial due to work obligations. We will miss seeing her at the annual new years eve parties. Again please accept our condolences. Lenny & Anne Noto.

Pat Areaux

June 14, 2019

I have known this family since my brother and I went to IHM grammar school. Ironic that in later years Joycelyn would live next to my mother, which made us neighbors once again! Ms. Joyce was a lovely, kind and thoughtful lady. Just beautiful inside and out. Always smiling! As I look through the pictures posted, it confirms what a loving family the Hankel's are. Each picture was filled with love and laughter which will stay with all of you forever. Know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Ms. Joyce will certainly be missed and, Joycelyn, if you ever need anything, we are right next door... Love you, Pat & Richard Areaux

Perrianne McCord

June 10, 2019

What can I say, Mrs. Hankel was one of the kindest human being I have ever met. I enjoyed her company so much when she and family had to flee to Houston to get away from Hurricane Katrina. She was such a gracious soul and will be missed by all who knew her. God Speed.

Cahty Cordes

June 7, 2019

Joyce aka Maw Maw was truly an angel on earth. Michael and I will never forget how she made special care packages for Michael's unit when he was deployed to Afghanistan. She never met us or knew us personally. Which made her kindness so much more appreciated and truly from the heart. Her rum cake is still talked about by the soldiers who were lucky enough to partake. She always sent more than Michael could partake in so her care packages were passed out to a whole lotta soldiers who were far from home and loved ones.

God truly has gained an Angel.

Condolences from the Cordes and Heathcock Family.

Hermanie “JoAnn” Gauthreaux

June 6, 2019

I will miss my beautiful sister so much. She was such a wonderful sister we all loved 💕 her very much. She fought the cancer so hard.
But now she joins the rest of our family in heaven. They are waiting for her with open arms.

Wayne Grabert

June 6, 2019

I will always remember Miss Joyce's smile. Thanks to my friendship with Nathan, I have known her since 1972. I don't think I ever saw her in a bad mood. No matter how she may have felt, she just wasn't going to bring anyone down. She lived up to her name that started with "Joy."

I send my sincerest condolences to all her family and friends. Your loss is real and profound. A special note to Joycelyn, Daryl and Ricky: You will think of your mother everyday for the rest of your lives. Those memories are the last of the many gifts she has given you. Your mom was a treasure.

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Biography

Joyce Hankel : Eulogy by Daryl Hankel
June 15, 2019

On behalf of Ricky, Joycelyn and myself, welcome family and extended family. I specifically left out the term “friends” because to my mother, “ Family and extended family” covers everyone here. Thank you all for taking time out of your day to be here with us.

When my family asked me to perform the eulogy for Mom, I immediately went to my computer and Goggled “eulogy”. I was looking for the proper etiquette in which to put this together, to give my Mom the best send off that I could. The most pertinent thing about a eulogy I found out was to keep the focus on the deceased, and after that pretty much anything goes. I am not going to try to sum up my Mother’s entire life in just a few minutes. Rather, just give everyone a glimpse of what our mother was to us as we were growing up, and as we continue to grow today.

Mom was born and raised in New Orleans. Her father abandoned the family after 4 children, and her mother moved to Houma, re-married, and had another 5 children. Now that I think about it, our aunt and uncles from Houma were technically Mom’s half sisters or brothers….but, Mom never referred to them as such. She loved them as much as any 100% sibling, and us children just called them our Houma family. Mom was like that. When she loved someone or something, it was always unconditional, and 100%.

Mom loved her husband. You could hear it in her voice every day as she called him to morning coffee. I can still hear her some mornings as I lay in bed, and think of the old days: “Nathan”. You can’t summon someone like that every day for the nearly 60 years they were married without loving that person.
Mom loved her children. She devoted her entire adult life to raising the 5 of us kids, and she went through great personal sacrifice and several high limit credit cards to ensure that all of us had better opportunities than she and my father had. Mom only had a high school education, and Dad even less than that. But, Mom was very determined that we all get a good education, and she was very insistent that we all do well in school. She didn’t force us to go to college, but she sure did encourage it, and made sure we had the best college prep education as we were growing up. That meant putting 5 children through catholic elementary school, and then through catholic high school. All of this was pretty difficult to do on my Dad’s electrician wages, so after we were all in school, Mom began a career in the Savings and Loan business. Mom worked the whole time we were in school. So, thanks to Mom and dad, we actually turned out pretty well.

Alan grew up to be a great family man, and started his own electrical business. Late in his life, he enjoyed teaching at a trade school in Baton Rouge.
Ricky got a Math degree from UNO. That’s a Bachelor of Science Degree in Math! He went on to become literally a rocket scientist for NASA.
Joycelyn graduated from Southeast Louisiana University, with a degree in Psychology. She now retired from being a Disability Determination Supervisor for the State.

Nathan also graduated from UNO with a degree in Math! Nathan became a technician for one of the early cable companies, long before Cox and ATT came out with cable TV. He was in the quality control division, and his job was to ensure that the company always transmitted a high quality and consistent signal. That’s right: Nathan got paid to watch TV.

I got a degree in Accounting from UNO, and later on an MBA. I ended up working for UNO as the Director of Financial Aid, and later as an independent consultant in the FA industry.

On behalf of all my brothers and sister, thank you Mom for all of your sacrifice so that we could get educations and have good lives. You did well, and we are very grateful.

Mom loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Mom used to babysit her grandchildren Jenny and RJ whenever they were in town and needed babysitting. Those kids loved their Maw Maw. In fact, when it came time for Jenny to go to high school, her mother wasn’t quite settled down yet, and she asked if she could stay with her Maw Maw while she went to high school! That’s a lot of love for a 13 year old kid! Of course, Mom obliged. Jenny is now a corporate tax lawyer for Shell Oil Company in Houston.

Recently, Mom and Joycelyn have been babysitting as much as they can for RJ and Natalie’s kids. If you want to know what love looks like, check out the expression on Emersyn’s face as she eats a plateful of her Maw Maw’s macaroni and cheese on the memorial pictures. You’ll know how much those kids loved their Maw Maw.

Mom loved parties. We moved into a new house, all 1,400 sq ft of it, in 1960. That’s Mom and Dad, and 5 kids, in a 1,400 sq ft house! We had no sooner got settled and unpacked in the house, that Mom said “Let’s throw a party, and invite all the family and friends to come see our new house”. It just so happened that the holidays were approaching, and she decided to throw a Hankel’s New Year’s Eve Party. After that 1st NYE party in 1960, Mom liked the idea of having all of her kids close to her on that holiday, so when 1961 came around, she said lets do it again. That 2nd year the party went well, and folks cleared out about 2 o’clock or so. Well, earlier that night, some of us kids got a little rambunctious, and we were lighting fireworks inside the garage/washroom. Later that night, 3 or 4am or so when everyone was sleeping, the garage caught on fire. Mom scrambled through the house to get all of us kids outside to safety. I can remember being 7 years old, having just moved into a brand new house about 11/2 years ago, and watching our brand new house burn down while standing in my front yard, in my pajamas, in the snow. Oh yeah, it snowed big time that year on New Years Eve. I also remember my Dad trying to turn on a garden hose to put the garage fire out, but the hose was frozen. Anyway, as I said, Mom loved to throw parties. So the next year, when NYE came around, we continued to have the Hankel’s NYE party. To this day, that party has continued on...through burned sofas in 1974, through various locations, it still continues, and many of you out that have been coming for years. Going forward, the NYE party will now also be a memorial to my Mom.

Mom loved people. Of course, she loved everyone here today. But, back in the 70’s, Ricky and I took up skydiving. Well, when NYE rolled around, we would invite all of our skydiving friends to the Hankel's NYE party. Mom didn’t really mind at all…she loved parties. But one friend, Greg King, happened to be going through a nasty divorce at the time. Seems like his wife said “If you go to the HNYE party with your girlfriend, then don’t bother coming home!” Well, he really didn’t have any place to go….so, he kinda just camped out on the (new) couch for a couple of days….and then, a couple of weeks. Mom would ask us ‘How long is Greg going to stay”. We’d say, “ I dunno”. Instead of getting mad, Mom said she would have a talk with him. The next night, as we were getting ready to eat, Mom yells out “Gregggg!”….’Yes, Mrs. Hankel? “What would you like for dinner?” Greg stayed for about another week or so, and by February he was finally gone. Like I said, Mom loved people.

Mom loved animals. Joycelyn recently bought a small terrier type dog. Little Abby was only a few weeks old when she brought it home. Mom took to the dog quickly, and Abby returned the love just as fast. When she was let out of her room, she used to like to hang out underneath Mom’s wheelchair. A very perilous place to be, but she just wanted to be close to Mom.
It was a lot worse when we were kids. When we were all living on Dwyer Rd, we lived across the street from an open drainage canal, and beyond that was a wooded area we used to play in. We would bring all kinds of critters home as pets, and Mom never objected to any of them. I’m not talking just a stray cat or dog (although there were plenty of those), but obscure kinds of pets, like: tadpoles; frogs; rabbits; turtles; fish; hamsters; a raccoon; a possum, and a goat. And we wouldn’t just keep these animals in the backyard. Nope, we’d have them right in the house with us. Mom never said a word. Mom loved animals.

Mom loved music. When she got a song in her head, you’d be better off liking it as if you had written it yourself. When Freddy Fender put out “I’ll be there before the next teardrop falls”, in 1974 I swear, Mom played that 45 til the needle came through the other side! Other notable records from that same era: Herb Albert and the Tiajuana Brass Whipped Delights…or Dean Martin’s Greatest Hits. Yep, if Mom like a song or record and it was worth playing once, then it was worth playing a thousand times!

One year, our good friend Billy Carlisle was in to collecting old time Juke Boxes. He volunteered to bring one over for the Hankels New Years Eve Party on Dwyer Rd. Mom had him put it right smack in the middle of the dining room. Well, the juke box was a big hit for the party, and also a big hit with Mom. So after a couple of weeks go by, and Billy came to pick up the jukebox, only to find Mom playing songs on it while she was fixing dinner. So, he just told her he’d pick it up later. Well, every time he came, she would be listening to it, and Billy felt bad about taking it away. Suffice to say that we had that jukebox for more than one NYE party. I think Billy finally did come pick it up one day because he had to sell it because he needed the money for something trivial like dental school tuition.
And of course, Mom’s absolute favorite singer and song, was Patsy Cline’s Crazy. You’ll see her posing with the lady that portrays Patsy Cline in the touring play that came to the WWII museum a few years ago.

The latest song that Mom took a liking to: Kid Rock’s All Summer Long. Don’t know what it is about him or that song that she liked so much, but that was her last favorite hit. Funny, but now its one of my favorite songs, too. Mom loved music.

Mom loved football. I can’t tell you how many times the whole family would be together for Sunday dinner, and after dinner, all the men would retreat into the living room to watch football. Life was so simple then. And in the middle of the game, Mom would stick her head into the living room, and always ask: “ Who’s Playing?” ….:Saints and Atlanta, Ma. “Oh….well, who’s winning?”….Saints, Ma. “ Oh….well, what’s the score?” Jesus! What are you doing? Writing a book? Or, maybe MAKING book? Who am I kidding. She really didn’t like football. What she saw was all of the men in her life intensely watching something on TV…so, she wanted to know what WE were so interested in…Mom loved her family.

Mom loved movies. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a movie, and thought is was just ok. Then I talk to Mom, and she tells me she saw the same movie and loved it. Well, I go back and take another look, and suddenly, it becomes one of my favorite movies, too. She did this to me with Game Night, currently showing on HBO. I thought it was ok, but now I watch it every time it comes on. Mom just loved to laugh, and some movies just caught her a certain way and made her laugh. And it was very infectious. I can remember watching the “Woman in Red” with Mom…I laughed more because Mom was laughing, than the movie was funny.

Mom loved life. She enjoyed every day that she was here with us. She loved to talk to her brothers and sisters from Houma, mostly Hermanie and Spencer, almost daily. She loved to hear from her friends: Grace in Atlanta; Olga from River Ridge. She loved the kids she babysat for: Olivia and Caroline. In the past 10 years or so, when her health was declining, she kept loosing her doctors….mostly, because she was outliving them. She liked older doctors. I tried to get her to get young doctors when she needed them, so that they would have a better chance of taking care of her longer.
My brother Ricky and I would also like to thank my sister Joycelyn for taking care of Mom for the last 10 years or so of her life. Its ultimately where Mom wanted to be as she closed out her life: with family. Joycelyn put her life on hold, to take care of Mom til the very end. We should all be so fortunate in life as to have a “Joycelyn” to take care of us in our last chapter.

Although, Mom loved life, she also only wanted to live only on her terms. She had seen firsthand what cancer and other diseases had done before they had taken her husband, and two of her sons, and some of her sisters and brothers. She gave us very specific “Do not resuscitate” orders, and specific documentation as to what she wanted to have done to prolong her life, and more importantly, what she did not want done. She didn’t want any part of dialysis, for instance. Also, she wanted to be mostly whole when she died, and would not accept any amputations. She knew her life was winding down, and she accepted that. We almost lost her last Halloween, when in the hospital she went into what we think may have been a diabetic coma. Anyway, the nurse on hand called directly to the ICU, and a few minutes later there were about 10 or so doctor types working on her. It truly was miraculous that she survived that night…the god lord was just not quite ready for her yet. But, I think that incident certainly did prepare her for what was to eventually come some 8 months later.
Mom lived a very good life on her own terms, and died peacefully at home, on her own terms as well.

As I am sure Mom would want, Everyone: please come by to my sister’s house today after these services for a Celebration of Life party for Mom at 4675 Western St. We’ll have plenty of food, and plenty of drink, and will be telling a lot of Mom stories as we say goodbye today. Once again, thanks everyone for coming here today.

Sincerely,
the Hankel Family