Joann Walls Hanceville Flags Half-Mast This Week
Joann Hartley Walls (84) of Hanceville passed away Friday, July 14, following a surgical procedure earlier in the week
Joann was born September 25 18, 1932, in Gadsden. She was preceded in death by her parents Harry Joseph Hartley and Evelyn Louise Moore Hartley. She was married to Mr. Glenn Walls.
She is survived by:
• Rose Marie Brittain – Sister
• Lisa Ann (Wayne) Wilson – niece
• A legion of friends and community supporters
Joann’s Memorial Service shall commence at 2:00 pm Saturday, July 22, 2017, with Brother Paul Campbell officiating inside Hanceville First United Methodist Church.
Joan Wall’s impact on the City of Hanceville is both profound and historic. She moved to Hanceville after Glenn passed away. She became almost immediately active at Hanceville First United Methodist Church.
Starting humbly working at the Hanceville Library, over time Joann soon a human hub of community activism, philanthropic pursuit, and remarkable political influence in the City of Hanceville and beyond.
She eventually served 16 years on the Hanceville City Council. As a council member, Joann was adored by many city employees for her dogged support of their pay scale and career well-being.
Walls founded the Hanceville chapter of the Civitan club and served as the organization’s district governor.
Flags in Hanceville have been lowered to half-mast this week for 3 days in Hanceville in honor of Walls’ commitment to community service.
Joann received perhaps the biggest modern-day public prize available in Hanceville this week. She was memorialized on the giant digital billboard on US Highway 31 in front of Wallace State Community College.
Mayor Kenneth Nail is expected to proclaim Saturday, July 22 as Joann Walls Day in Hanceville.
“I got to know Joann very well over the last 2 years. She lived just a few feet from me in her garden home along Section Line Road. Every time I met with Joann, I liked to hug her and whisper in her ear ‘… it’s the inimitable and classy Joan Walls’. I think she thought I was crazy, but she loved it.
Her sharp mental acuity, instant recall of facts, people, places, dates and important events came as a shock to me. Having lived here for only 3 years, I am not as personally familiar with her long philanthropic and community pursuits as many people in Hanceville. But, I can say she was a true friend, and certainly the most classy and vibrant woman of any age in my neighborhood and perhaps all of Hanceville.” (Memories of this writer).
Pam Reid knew Joann as well as anyone in Hanceville working directly with her as a Civitan:
“Joann was such a great encourager. Joann would tell you, ‘You need come to this meeting it will be so interesting,’ or ‘You’d be so good at this position, and I’ll help you,’ or ‘You’ll have so much fun if you go. You’ll meet so many nice people.’
It wasn’t just the words she would say to you, but the sincerity in her voice. You knew she believed you could hang the moon. She was so dedicated to the offices she held.
She didn’t waste her time watching TV. She was busy typing, organizing, and keeping everything together for all of us. Her energy level was such that a young person should be jealous of her. Her memory, what a magnificent memory she had.
In her spare time, she was a voracious reader and a great supporter of the Hanceville library. There just isn’t enough time to tell just how wonderful she was. We sure are going to miss you, Ms. Joann.”
Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail was the first to break the news of Walls’ passing on Facebook:
“It’s with great sadness that I announce the passing of a great kind passionate lady Miss Joann walls received her wings today. We will miss her tremendously, please pray for her family. “
Here are just a few highlights from Joann Walls’ lengthy roster public service achievements:
Alabama Power – employed 37 years.
West End High School (Birmingham, 1950) – graduate
Hanceville City Council (2001-12) – Council member
City of Hanceville (2008-12) – Mayor Pro Tem
Hanceville Civitan Club (1990) – Co-founder, charter member
Hanceville Library Board – Chair
Cullman County Christmas Parade – Chair
Cullman County “Adopt-a-Mile” – Chair
Lucille Galin Public Service Award (2014)
She also has a building in historic downtown Hanceville named in her honor: The Joann Walls Center
Joann was close friends with former District 12 Alabama State Representative James C,. Fields, Jr. In fact, in recent years, it is rare to see Fields in Hanceville without Walls nearby.
Reverend Fields was forever touched by Joann and profoundly moved by her passing:
“She reminded me of me: Fashionable late for meetings. Her love for Community. She was an encourager. Passionate about helping people in need. Always a beautiful smile.
Last year, we attended the International Civitan Conference in Norfolk VA. She drove from her home in Hanceville all the way to Chattanooga, TN.
She had two rules for me: 1. ‘Don’t tell her when to get over.’ 2. ‘Don’t talk about her driving.’ I will never forget her.”
Following the death of Fields’ wife Willie Mae Fields in 1999, Joann set up a memorial scholarship fund in Mrs. Fields’s name. This fund provides a $500 grant for graduating senior at Hanceville High School.
‘She’d give you everything she had. I can’t think of a more sweet, polite, kind and generous person. I am blessed to have known her so well … she is going to be deeply missed.”
Here is the last known interview with Joann Walls:
City of Hanceville