The daughter-in-law and mother-in-law relationship often gets a bad rap. Yet when it came to New Bern, N.C. resident, Diane Hogan and her husband’s mother, Joyce – affectionately known as ‘Mimi,’ the two burst the stereotype bubble with finesse. It was a loving 31-year relationship that only came to an end when Joyce passed from late-stage Alzheimer’s disease in 2020 at age 95.
“She had a long, long wonderful life. A life of charitable giving,” Diane said, “She was always involved in giving back to the community.” A long-time resident of the Dallas area and full-time mom to four, Joyce Hogan was known locally for her involvement in, well, everything!
“Ah, you name it!” Diane said, cheekily adding, “She was on probably every committee within her church at some point. When she was right at the very end, she was actually on the Bereavement Committee.” From volunteering at her parochial high school bookstore to dedicating time to her kids’ swimming team and sewing costumes for their high school musical theatre department – Joyce truly did it all! And these weren’t short-term commitments that dissipated as her kids left the nest, either.
“When when the kids left, like when they all graduated, she was [the school’s] costumer, I want to say, for probably close to twenty years,” Diane explained. Joyce loved musical theatre, so much so that when she finally concluded her time as the school’s costumer, students gifted her tickets to a local Broadway production series.
Mimi’s passion for being a people-helper is what inspired Diane to (virtually) lace-up in 2020 shortly after her mother-in-law’s death and walk to honor the Hogan matriarch’s memory. Diane and her husband, Pat, took to the streets of New Bern while another one of Joyce’s children walked in Dallas. “It was great,” Diane said of the early pandemic-era Walk. What’s more, she successfully met her fundraising goal in her first year involved with the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
In 2021, channeling her inner Mimi, Diane took her volunteerism a step further and joined Walk to End Alzheimer’s – New Bern in a committee role dedicated to retaining previous-year Walk teams. And now in 2022, she’s serving as co-chair for the same group, focusing on both retention and recruitment of new teams. In fact, just hours after our interview, Diane was off to a local women’s networking luncheon to promote the New Bern Walk coming up on October 22 at Union Point Park. “I’m going to talk about the Walk and try to encourage more people to develop teams,” she explained. Her current goal is get ten more teams on the roster.
The passion Mimi had for doing more was evident in Diane’s excitement ahead of the New Bern Walk. She touted how her beloved Eastern North Carolina city of 30,000, which boasts the perfect mixture of quaint, eclectic and upbeat vibes, is the best place for this purposeful stroll.
So for another year – and certainly not the last – Diane is turning her family’s grief into action. Inspired by the woman who continually served others, she doesn’t plan to stop walking or encouraging others to walk any time soon. Diane may have lost a fixture in her life, but she gained another life-changing relationship in the process. Her work with the Alzheimer’s Association will impact people well beyond New Bern, North Carolina. And it’s this writer’s opinion that, without a doubt, Joyce would be incredibly proud.
LIKE DIANE, WE ALL HAVE A REASON TO FIGHT FOR A WORLD WITHOUT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE. Join your local Walk to End Alzheimer’s today as an individual, team, or sponsor.
The Alzheimer’s Association hosts 17 walks across North Carolina. The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association® mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®; now the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s. Your health and safety are our top priorities. We will continue to closely monitor CDC, state and local guidelines to ensure Walk events adhere to the latest recommendations.
|Unifour (formerly Hickory)||10/29/2022|
Alzheimer’s isn’t stopping and neither are we.
Madeline is a former TV news reporter & anchor who got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association in 2020. She volunteers her nearly decade-long experience as a journalist to honor her late grandfather, who had with vascular dementia.