Vatchye Lee Winston Hardeman was born March 8, 1926 to Freddie Ellison and John Winstead in Little Rock, Arkansas and was the sixth of seven girls, “the sisters” of our family. Her childhood was spent primarily in Wardell, Missouri until she was accepted to Lincoln University (HBCU) in Jefferson City, Missouri. While attending Lincoln University, she thrived in the Theatre Department, pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and in 1946 received a B.S. degree in Biology.
Her graduation gift, from her sisters, was a visit to Los Angeles, California. She decided to remain in California, where she worked and attended U.C.L.A and U.C. Berkeley to complete her graduate degree, receiving a Masters of Social Work (MSW) and eventually, credentials for Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Vatchye worked as a psychiatric social worker for the State of California and Santa Clara County Department of Health and Welfare for thirty-five years until retiring in 1991.
While in Los Angeles, she met and married Maurice Hardeman (Attorney and later Judge in Santa Clara County). They relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-50s where Vatchye immediately became involved with mental health, civil rights and cultural organizations, especially after the family settled in San Jose.
Memberships included the following: NAACP, Jack and Jill, Links Inc., American Assoc. of University Women, and No Name Bridge Club (50 years!). She also supported the Pacific Art League, SJ Light Theater and Tabia African American Theatre Ensemble. Vatchye loved to socialize, especially any event related to bridge, bid whist, backgammon and cooking.
Vatchye is survived by her loving daughter, Anne Maria, “Niecey” Sharon Moore, her sister Jewel Barker of Chicago, Illinois and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends
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