Development & Alumni Relations Office 


Lady Kathleen (Joy) Hastings, BA (died 31 May 2022, aged 90)


Obituary taken from the Belfast Telegraph


Lady Joy Hastings, the widow of Sir Billy, has died at the age of 90 as one of her children observed that her “party was now over”.

Lady Joy, a teacher by training who once taught George Best, was by her husband’s side as he built up an empire of six hotels around Northern Ireland through the worst of the Troubles, including Belfast’s Europa, Stormont and Culloden hotels.

The couple’s four children, Howard, Julie, Allyson and Aileen, continued to work in the business following Sir Billy’s death in December 2017, including the opening of Belfast’s Grand Central Hotel in 2018.

Lady Joy, who reached the age of 90 last month, remained a director of the business until June last year.

Julie Hastings wrote on social media yesterday: “It’s a very sad day for our family. My mum, the matriarch of Hastings Hotels, passed away peacefully at home.

"She had just turned 90 and last weekend enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea party at her home surrounded by her friends and family.  

"She even met and cuddled her first great-granddaughter, Libbie.  We got the four-generations photo.”

Julie added:  “Now her party is over and her next heavenly party will hopefully be with my dad, Sir Billy Hastings.

"Mum will be sorely missed by us all and especially by the Hastings Hotels “family” of staff and customers, who knew her coming into the hotels with dad for nearly 60 years.

"Goodbye, mum. Go to dad and together look down on us and keep us right as you always did.”

An obituary released by Hastings Hotels Group states: “Kathleen Joyce Hastings has died at her home near Killyleagh aged 90.

“Born in 1932 she was the youngest and last surviving daughter of Kathleen and James Hamilton, growing up in south Belfast.

“Fondly known as Joy, she attended school at Victoria College and became head girl.

“She graduated with a BA from Queen's University Belfast and subsequently became a teacher at Lisnasharragh High School in 1959.

“Her most famous pupil was George Best.”

Joy had married Billy Hastings in 1960, the obituary said.  

"After 43 years at the helm of Hastings Hotels, Billy was awarded a knighthood, and Joy was proud to become Lady Hastings in 2009. They were married for 57 years before Billy passed away in 2017.

“Joy died on May 31 leaving Julie, Howard, Allyson and Aileen, nine grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.”

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