Gloria Joan Kathey

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 5, 2012

Gloria Joan Kathey returned to the arms of her Savior and Lord Jesus Christ
on April 3, her birthday. Joan loved the Lord dearly and sought to grow in his word and grace to overcome the personal trials and flaws that plague us all. She openly shared her faith with many through direct testimony, encouragement and prayer, but
also through simple acts of care and concern, demonstrating God’s love in motion. In 55 years of teaching dance, Joan touched thousands of young lives. Though a demanding teacher, she helped young people see potential in themselves they may have
otherwise missed, spurring them to utilize gifts and talents God had given to them and building self-confidence through dance. Her push for excellence demonstrated a personal care and concern that often translated as love and generated love in
return. She loved and mothered her four sons to the end of her days, never ceasing to pray for, encourage, and help them. She was a wife and best friend to her husband of 59 years, sharing joys and sorrows together in times of plenty and times of
want. Even in her waning days, she took actions to make her passing easier on her husband and family.
Joan was often candid, but seasoned her candor with humor. She loved to laugh and often confronted adversity with laughter. Sometimes
pain can seem absurd, and Joan loved to laugh at the absurdities in life. Such laughter often broke the ice to sooth a hurting heart and open the door for a discussion about the power of God to heal the many wounds the world hurls at us.
Born in Albuquerque, N.M. in 1934 to Clarence Donovan and Rella Mae Erickson, Joan grew up in Shreveport and began studying dance as a young child. She met her future husband, Kamal Kathey, at Cresswell Elementary School. They were sweethearts
at Byrd High School and were married in the Navy Chapel at the Washington Navy Yard in October 1953. Their first son, Kevin, was born a year later, and their sons Shawn, Scott, and Brett followed over the next 14 years. Joan worked for Paramount
Pictures in Washington D.C., and later worked as secretary to the head coach at Northwestern State University from 1957 to 1961. In 1963, she began teaching dance with Marilyn Stevens in Leesville and continued to celebrate the art of dance in Vernon
Parish through the Joan Kathey Dance Center until her death, always striving to impart the beauty she experienced through ballet, tap, and jazz to those around her.
Joan is survived by her husband, four sons, and seven grandchildren.
A wake and viewing will be held from 6-8 p.m. on April 5 and from noon until the time of services at the Family Worship Center, located at 601 East Mechanic St. in Leesville. Services will be held at 2 p.m. on April 6 at the Family Worship
Center, under the direction of Labby Memorial Funeral Home of Leesville.
The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hope for Mariah (at Barksdale Federal Credit Union) or St. Jude Children’s Hospital (
Words of comfort may be expressed to the Kathey family at