Joyce was a ‘real character’

Joyce Hodd with a Pearly King and Queen on her 85th birthday
Joyce Hodd with a Pearly King and Queen on her 85th birthday

Joyce Hodd was a vibrant personality who brought a smile to the faces of everyone who met her, said a family friend.

Joyce, of Westfield Lane, died on her 87th birthday following a period of illness and Pat Moore paid tribute to a colourful character who was full of stories and a collector of many things, whether it be animals, pictures or indeed friends.

“She was a real character,” said Pat. “She just made people laugh.”

The great-grandmother moved to Westfield Lane, St Leonards, 50 years ago, and that is where she remained until her death on May 4.

This is where she started her collection of animals, which grew to include ducks, geese, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, dogs, cats, birds, squirrels - anything with four legs or feathers.

Similarly, Joyce loved to care for people.

“Joyce cared for her own grandmother, mother-in-law, mother and husband in her own home until they passed away, and her one wish was that she never left her home,” said Pat, 63, of Hailsham, who has known the family for around 30 years.

Joyce was born in 1926 in Lambeth, London, and always considered herself a cockney despite many decades spent in Hastings.

On her birthday two years ago she received a surprise visit from a Pearly King and Pearly Queen.

Her Father was a trombonist with the Val Parnell Orchestra and Joyce went to art college and to a music and dance academy where she danced with Joyce and Lionel Blair.

After her parents divorced her mother remarried and the family moved to Hastings.

During the war she was evacuated to Weston Super Mare where she worked for the BBC and met many TV personalities including Betty Driver from Coronation Street, Jean Marsh from Upstairs, Downstairs and June Brown from Eastenders.

She was also a Land Girl and worked on the construction of the Lancaster Bombers.

She met her husband David, a Canadian, after the war, and they were both keen artists.

David passed away more than 27 years ago, since which time Joyce lived alone, but with her tight-knit family of three children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren nearby.

Joyce’s funeral is to take place today (Friday, May 24) at noon, at Church in the Wood, in Hollington.