March is Women’s History Month, and Parkway Place (a faith-based senior living community) is recognizing inspiring women at the community, including Joan Haggard, 87. Haggard is an inspiration to many for her kind heart and willingness to help others. She spent her career giving back as an educational secretary and volunteering at local churches. She was a caregiver for her husband William, who was injured in a plane crash, and never lost hope when her house was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. The senior living community understands the importance of Women’s History Month and wants residents to know their good deeds and accomplishments do not go unnoticed.
“I was inspired to work with children and volunteer because it’s something I’ve always loved,” said Haggard. “It allowed me to be there for others, as well as my children and husband. I’m honored Parkway Place is recognizing me for Women’s History Month. They have been there for me through some of my toughest times, and I am grateful to call the senior living community home.”
Born in Oklahoma and raised in El Paso, Texas, Haggard came from humble beginnings. She spent her childhood out west, walked to and from school each day, and after graduation she attended the University of Texas El Paso where she met her husband William. After getting married, the couple moved around with their children before settling in Houston, where her husband worked in the oil and gas industry in the 1970s. While on a work trip in Alaska, William was severely injured in a plane crash and was paralyzed. After the accident, Haggard dedicated her time to helping her husband. Through her faith, as well as supportive friends and family, she was able to get through the difficult times. William passed away in 2016, and shortly after Haggard had another life-changing moment. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey forced her out of her West Houston home, taking all of her belongings in its path. After the storm, she found a new home at Parkway Place.
“2016 and 2017 were difficult years for me. Losing my husband and then losing my house was challenging, but I relied on my faith and family to get me through it,” said Haggard. “I actually stayed in a model room at Parkway Place before I officially moved in. They were very accommodating for me and one of my friends. I reflect on my life and accomplishments and consider how thankful I am. I am not someone who invented something or owned a business, I am a regular woman who has lived her life to the fullest, and I hope along the way I made a positive impact on someone else.”
“Joan is an inspiration to me and many others at Parkway Place,” said Linda Fitzhugh, director of independent living at Parkway Place. “Her dedication to teaching children and working at churches is remarkable. She has been through a lot, but she has always maintained an optimistic attitude through it all. We’re honored to have her here at Parkway Place and share her story of hope with others.”