Barbara Lee Southard Hoecke passed away peacefully on Monday, December 17th, 2018. She was comforted by her husband of 52 years, Herman P. Hoecke and sons Paul and Christopher. Barbara was born in Columbus, Ohio on September 6, 1937. She was an only child and as such grew up independent & adventurous. Her father, John Southard, was an avid outdoorsman, and Barbara regularly accompanied him on his various canoeing, fishing, and camping trips around Ohio. She was less inclined to join him in a rabbit or duck hunting trip, but was still proud that he had taught her to shoot, and that she could hit the bullseye with her small-caliber rifle. Her mother, Charlotte, a proper church going woman, was less amused by all this, especially whenever they returned filthy but smiling from another adventure. However, Charlotte did pass on an interest in music, which evolved to an interest in dance. During her school years Barbara developed an enduring passion for ballet that gave her great joy throughout her life. While still in high school she began studying at the Capital City Ballet, founded by Jorg Fasting, in Columbus, OH. There she had an opportunity to participate in local and regional productions of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, as well as original productions. She continued her dance studies after high school, while planning and saving to go to New York. In 1957 she followed her dream and went to New York City to study dance. She auditioned for and was accepted at the American School of Ballet. She continued studying there, as well as studying & dancing with other local companies until leaving New York. She also continued to practice and exercise well into her 60's. She last danced on stage as part of the 2004 spring presentation by Bounds Academy of Durham. Though no longer on pointe, she was very excited to dance on stage with friends, to one of her favorite musical pieces, the Seasons by Glazunov. While in New York City she met Herman P. Hoecke. Drawn together by shared interests in music and ballet, they were married in August of 1966. Within a few years they had two sons, Paul and Chris, whom she cherished. She enjoyed exploring the city, especially the museums, with her two boys packed in their double stroller. In the 70's the family moved from New York to North Carolina. There Barbara took an interest in horses and horseback-riding. She took lessons and showed locally, eventually coming to own and care for several American Saddlebreds. She continued working with horses and the family kept horses on the property in a small farm setting for many years. This continued through several moves out of state, to Virginia and Pennsylvania, and the return to North Carolina. Two of the horses, Chance Ace and Piccadilly Dolly, were members of the family for more than 20 years. In addition to horses, Barbara was fond of all the dogs and cats that a barn & surrounding pastures attract. Her love of animals was reflected in her support of organizations which help stray cats and dogs, abandoned horses and even one in Tennessee which provides a sanctuary for retired zoo and circus elephants. While in Pennsylvania, Barbara decided to resume her education by attending Delaware Valley College and, upon returning to North Carolina, became regular student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she pursued her interest in history and the arts. Under the tutelage of her favorite teacher, Prof. Richard Pfaff, she completed her studies and graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. After retirement, Barbara enjoyed the freedom to garden, paint, weave, read, attend the ballet, and visit with friends. In lieu of flowers Barbara would ask that you donate to a local no-kill animal shelter for stray animals. A visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 from 4:00 - 6:00 pm at Walker's Funeral Home, 120 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill. Mrs. Hoecke will be buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Marysville, Ohio on Saturday, December 29 at 10:00 A.M. The Hoecke family is under the care of Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill, and Wilson Funeral Home and Monuments of Marysville, OH.
Saturday, December 29, 2018 10:00am, Oakdale Cemetery