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Saturday, April 6, 2024
Janet Sue Hilbolt Hyatt was born November 27, 1930, in Anderson, Indiana, to Newton and Gladys Hilbolt, and passed away Thursday, November 9, 2023, at her home in Keithville, Louisiana, after fighting the complications of dementia. She would have been 93 on November 27th. Janet enjoyed a very full life and had a positive impact on a lot of people. She was involved with many groups - a faithful member of Broadmoor United Methodist Church for 57 years, Order of Eastern Star, the Clowns of Telephone Pioneers of America, Bluebird Camp in Bethany for cancer survivors, HAP House, Huck Finn, Camp Rain Man Autistic Camp for special needs population, Christmas at Rose Gardens, Holiday in Dixie Parades, and KTBS where the clowns gathered football scores and polling results. At her church, she was a youth director, played handbells, and led a group of youth to learn clowning and perform skits using sign language. She retired from AT&T (Western Electric) in Shreveport, Louisiana, after more than 20 years of service in assembly and as a trucker.
Her passion in life was clowning - a professional clown for 58 years, privately and under the AT&T Pioneer Clowns; she was known as "MeMe the Clown” bringing joy to children and adults alike; she attended the Barnum and Bailey clown training and was named Clown of the Year for a 5-state area; she performed at birthday parties, Bingo with her fellow clowns at 5 nursing homes every month for years, and helped build parade floats. She traveled to Russia twice with her church to support a sister church there, taking along her clowning gear. If any group needed a volunteer, especially as a clown, she was always the first.
Janet and her husband proudly founded the JD Camp and Event Center on 288 acres in Keithville, Louisiana to benefit children with outdoor activities held in a fun and trusting environment. It will be used by many for years to come.
She is preceded in death by her parents and husband, Dennis H. Hyatt; great-grandson, Dylan Jacob Blaine; brothers, William Hilbolt and Johnny Hilbolt and son-in-law, Dennis Munson. Her memory is survived by her daughters, Debbye H. McAteer and husband, Pete, and Deedy Munson; honorary sons, David Hyatt and wife, Pam, and Rodney Hyatt; sister, Sandra Garner; grandchildren, Dusty Allendorf and husband, Tim, Jesse C. Whittington, Davi Burford, Jacob Whittington and wife, Kara, and Darcie Munson; great-grandchildren, Kaili Cude, Alyssa Burford, Harris Burford V, Reed Whittington and River Whittington.
A Memorial and Celebration of Life service will be held in the spring on Saturday, April 6, 2024, weather permitting, for Janet and her husband, at JD Camp Event Center. Please go to: https://www.facebook.com/jdcampkeithville for service updates.