Joyce Marie (Rooker) Hansard, age 88, of Southgate, Michigan, passed away peacefully on November 10, 2023. Beloved wife of the late Howard Beverly Hansard. Survived by and was the loving mother of Linda (Phillip) Burnett, Karen (Bennett) Sebestin, and Jim (Anna) Hansard; dearest grandmother of Benjamin Burnett, Lauren (Joseph) Jergovich, Andrew Burnett, Eloise Hansard, James Hansard, and Oliver Hansard; proud great-grandmother of Clayton Jergovich and Conway Jergovich. Also survived by her sister Carol Rice, sisters-in-law Joyce Rooker and Frances Hansard, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Joyce was welcomed to heaven by her beloved husband Howard Beverly Hansard, parents Thomas and Veda Rooker, parents-in-law Dan and Nora Hansard, sister Dora Mae Rooker and brother Durwood Rooker, brothers-in-law Cleburn Rice and Wayne Hansard, nephew Randy Rice, and nieces Dana Lowe and Debbie Underwood.
Joyce was born on March 23, 1935, in Rome, Georgia, to the late Thomas and Veda (Thornton) Rooker. She was an accomplished pianist (taught by her late Aunt Eva Thornton). When Joyce was 8 years old, her father moved the family from Georgia to Detroit, Michigan. After several moves in the area, they settled in Lincoln Park. When she was 13, they began attending Friendship Baptist Church where she eventually met her future husband, Howard Beverly “Bev” Hansard of Tazewell, Tennessee.
One Sunday night, a quartet came to visit Friendship and Bev sang the lead part in the quartet. Her parents invited the quartet back to the house after church for coffee and dessert and more singing, and Joyce was happy to learn Bev was single. Bev and some of the other quartet members later joined Friendship and formed a quartet with Joyce as the pianist. They were also on a radio program on Sunday mornings. In addition, Bev, Joyce and her sister Carol sang as a trio. Joyce and Bev were married at Friendship Baptist on September 3, 1953, the same year she graduated from Lincoln Park High School.
Joyce studied business in high school and learned typing and shorthand. After graduating high school, she went to work at Ford Motor Company’s Engineering Division in Dearborn. She took a break to be a stay-at-home mom for their children Linda, Karen, and Jim. She eventually went back to work as a typesetter at the Mellus Newspapers (now the News-Herald) until she accepted the church secretary position at Friendship Baptist Church, where she served for 32 years (1974-2006). Joyce attended Wayne County Community College and received an Associate’s Degree in 1983. Bev was very proud of his wife’s accomplishments. On June 16, 1983, he passed suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 56 after almost 30 years of marriage. As a young widow at the age of 48, Joyce became a pillar of strength for her family.
After her husband’s death, Joyce was denied a credit card from Security Bank (where she and her husband had banked for years) because she didn’t have credit in her name. She fought the bank and eventually got that credit card, but the feeling of helplessness about her own personal finances drove her to learn how money works and the desire to help others, too. She started working for various companies as a financial advisor and ultimately formed her own company, JMH Financial Services.
Joyce was a woman of faith who dedicated her life to serving God and others. She loved her family, friends and her church and always sought to bring joy and peace to those around her. She was generous, compassionate and humble and never hesitated to share the gospel with anyone who needed to hear it. Joyce was a strong woman who faced every challenge with determination and dignity. She was a shining example of Christ’s love and will be missed greatly by everyone who was blessed to know her.