Joan Edwards Hemby

January 17, 1936June 17, 2019

Joan Edwards Hemby, 83, Raleigh, formerly of Wilson, passed away Monday, June 17, 2019 at Rex Healthcare. Joan was born January 17, 1936 to the late James Jacob and Mae Lillie Edwards in Wilson County where she attended Charles L. Coon High School and graduated from Atlantic Christian College. Following her training, Joan pursued a career in elementary education and taught in the Wilson County School system for many years. She later served as county coordinator for reading as part of the ESEA and as a board member for the NC Testing Commission.

Outside of her many accomplishments and contributions to the community, family and friends were Joan’s top priority, and particularly her five granddaughters, Tristan, Elizabeth, Katherine, Charlotte, and Lillie. No matter what the occasion for their visits, she cherished every moment with “her girls.” Joan’s devotion to family carried over to the many friendships she made during her life and those who were close became part of her family in the truest sense. In addition to her parents, Joan was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, James B. Hemby, Jr.; brother, James Wallace Edwards; and sister, Geraldine Taylor.

Surviving are sons, James B. Hemby III and wife, Holli, of Youngsville, NC; Scott Edwards Hemby, wife Christy and their children, Elizabeth, Katherine, Charlotte, Nora and Lear Michael of Winston-Salem, NC; Thomas Simmen Hemby, wife Sheila, and their children Tristan and Lillie of Clayton, NC; and close family friend, Margaret Weir of Raleigh, NC.

A memorial service will be conducted at 2 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at Thomas-Yelverton Funeral Home in Wilson, NC, with Rev. Morgan Daughety officiating.

The family will receive friends Wednesday, from 1 to 2 pm at the funeral home, located at 2704 Nash Street NW, Wilson, NC.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of Joan Hemby at, or to the Joan and Jim Hemby Scholarship Fund at Barton College.

Funeral services are under the direction of Thomas-Yelverton Funeral Home, Wilson, NC. Online condolences may be sent to


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Joan Edwards Hemby

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Jodi Parsons

July 5, 2019

Dearest Scott, Elizabeth, Kate and Charlie,
We are so very sorry to hear of the passing of your Mom/Grandmother. Joan was a true southern gentle lady who will no doubt be missed by all who loved her and were loved by her. We are especially grateful to her for her willingness to share her secret pound cake recipe, which was a hit at two of our family's surprise birthday parties held over the years, and we will think of her every time we make it in the years to come!
May God bless you and comfort you in the days ahead,
Jodi, Cole & Caelen Parsons