Cover photo for Joan Lee Tuck Heyde's Obituary
1931 Joan 2022

Joan Lee Tuck Heyde

February 18, 1931 — May 27, 2022



Joan Tuck Heyde, 91, left to be with her Lord on May 27, 2022

Joan was the daughter of Henry Oscar Tuck, a mattress factory owner in Bryan, Texas, and Hattie Irene Smoot, a loving homemaker, Joan’s hero, and mentor. Early in life, she endured the hardship of losing her parents as a teenager.  She and her younger brother, “Bubba”, were on their own, living in one of the family rental houses. Bubba worked at the creamery at A&M, and she got a job at JC Penney’s and went on to graduate from SFA High School in 1948. She also attended Sam Houston State for two years. These life events taught her strength and she was often heard saying “It’s better than the alternative” when referring to difficult times, but she would always remain light-hearted, friendly, sweet, and loving.

She worked in downtown Bryan at the Varisco Building as a secretary to Mr. Varisco; a position that she was very proud of. She also worked at the Bryan Air Force Base Hospital before she married. Joan had a great sense of style and elegance which led her to take jobs in small dress shops and jewelry stores during her years as an officer’s wife and mother. At the height of her career in women’s fashion, Joan worked at Goldsmith’s department store, as a buyer of women’s clothing in Memphis, Tennessee.

Joan was introduced to Richard, an Air Force pilot, while working on base in Bryan. One evening they had each come to a dance with a date, but after switching dance partners to “Changing Partners”, they were always together. In 1954, they married and were together for 57 loving years until his passing in 2011. Next to her wedding, her greatest days were the adoption of her daughter, Rycca, and the births of her granddaughters, Payton and Madison.

Christmas and Thanksgiving family gatherings were cherished times, but she also loved vacationing in their motor home with pets and family in Port Aransas, South Padre Island, and the Frio River. She enjoyed working in her greenhouse, camping, reading, quilting, sewing, needlepoint, and puzzles. Her beloved animals were her Corgi dogs; she often had 2 or 3 at a time, but she loved all animals.

Traditions and family heirlooms were cherished by Joan, and people admired her beautiful Christmas trees, china, crystal, silver pieces, table linens, decorative pieces, and jewelry that had she collected while traveling the world as an Air Force officer’s wife. She believed that her family’s travels outside the U.S. were valuable experiences with exposure to different cultures, and so she enjoyed adding pieces of each culture to her collection and used them when she hosted dinners for family and friends.

Joan is preceded in death by her husband, Colonel Richard R. Heyde; her brother “Bubba”, Henry Oscar Tuck, Jr. and wife, Barbara; her parents, Hattie Irene Smoot and Henry Oscar Tuck, Sr.; half-sister, Lula Mae Meads and husband, William Frank Meads, Sr.; her nephew, William (Billy) Frank Meads Jr. and his son, Jeremy Meads.

Joan is survived by her daughter, Rycca Heyde Pilling and husband, Robert “Bobby” Pilling; granddaughters, Payton Joan and Madison Anne; step-grandson, Robert R. Pilling and wife, Ann-Marie; and great-granddaughter, Harper Olivia Pilling. She also leaves behind her furry family members, Nikki, her cat and dog, Belle.

The family would like to acknowledge the loving support and care given by all the caregivers and staff at Brookdale Senior Living, Pearland, Texas, and especially her personal caregivers, Herlinda Martinez, Emmy Lotsi, Gabriella Lotsi, Roshae and Rozaria Ware, Tyler and Sally Belt, Devron Steels, Sylvia Williams, and Visiting Angels of Bryan.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Joan’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Lee Tuck Heyde, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Memorial Service

Monday, June 6, 2022

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)


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Monday, June 6, 2022

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

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