Jesse Nelle Reid Hahn, 88, of Pleasanton, passed away on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. Born to Tillman Jesse and Elizabeth Scoggins Reid, on July 16, 1936, she grew up in Gonzales and graduated from GHS in 1952. Two days after Nelle turned eighteen, she and Herbert Hahn were married. The newlyweds moved to Waco, where Herbert worked for the U. S. Postal service; then, soon afterward, the fledgling family (that now included son Jim), ministered and worshiped with a succession of Texas churches: Troy, Schertz, Victoria.
From Victoria, they launched out into overseas missions, traveling to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where they remained for half a decade. Upon returning to the States, the couple (with children Jim and Lori in tow) settled in Vanderbilt, Texas. As Herbert transitioned from ministry into insurance sales, Nelle worked in the advertising department of the Edna Herald newspaper. She would go on to interact with students of Industrial ISD as an elementary classroom aide, a librarian, and a lunchroom attendant. While living in Vanderbilt, the family adopted their third child, Karen.
From 1970 to 1982, Nelle served as the Industrial 4-H chapter leader, teaching classes, overseeing projects, manning booths, and creating award-winning Jackson County Fair displays. In 1985, the Hahns moved to Gonzales where they would live (and ranch) for thirty-two years in the house Nelle had designed. During those passing decades, Nelle applied herself to work, to church, and to family. She labored at Gonzales House, a care home for special needs adults. She owned and managed the local Merle Norman studio. She built sheds and refinished furniture. She taught women’s Bible classes and poured her heart into Seydler Street Church of Christ’s annual VBS. She organized and orchestrated the lion’s share of her high school graduating class’s reunions – up to and including 2022’s 70th annual gathering. And, of course, she provided her special brand of attention to her nine grandchildren.
After Herbert’s passing six years ago, Nelle moved to Pleasanton to live with Karen and her family. She continued to engage in the activities that interested her – attending grandsons’ sports events, reading, painting, and writing stories drawn from memories of her youth. Jesse Nelle Reid Hahn was a woman of integrity -- scrupulously honest, often strong-willed, always opinionated. She was a perfectionist, an artist with a literalist’s eye for verisimilitude. Within her beat an empathetic heart for God’s “little ones” – ever tender, unabashedly emotional, completely unpretentious. She spoke and taught and lived like the Bible “says what it means and means what it says.” A daddy’s girl to the core, she loved her family unconditionally, and was equally at home walking a cow pasture, crossing a busy street, mixing a batch of holiday dressing, or cradling a fussy baby. Nelle embodied Scripture’s proverbial woman of noble character, who “fears the Lord”, and of whom it is said: “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all” (Pr 31:28-29). Recently, Nelle had decided to move to Highland Estates, an Austin-based retirement home. She lived there only a matter of days before making her final journey heavenward.
Jesse Nelle Reid Hahn is survived by three children, Jim Hahn of Waco, LoriAnn Hahn Lavallee of Austin, and Karen Hahn Fuselier of Pleasanton; nine grandchildren: Beth Hahn, Rachel Dacke, Colton Fuselier, Colby Fuselier, JoLyn Hahn Kile, Caroline Hahn Gray, Travis Lavallee, Sarah Nelle Lavallee, and Caden Fuselier; grandchildren-in-law Dylan Kile, Summer Fuselier, and Todd Gray; two great-grandchildren, Kayce Fuselier and Lennon Kile; one daughter-in-law Jan Smithey Hahn; two sons-in-law Robert Fuselier and Kirk Lavallee; brother, T. J. Reid, Jr., and sister-in-law Pat Reid; nieces Kay Tolbert Drescher and Darla Reid Hadley; nephew Mark Reid; and numerous cousins. Preceding her in death were her husband Herbert, her parents, her sister Evelyn Reid Tolbert, and brother-in-law Arthur Tolbert.
Visitation is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday, May 29, at Seydler-Hill Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 30, also at Seydler-Hill Funeral Home, with her son Jim Hahn of Waco officiating. Interment will follow at Gonzales Memorial Park Cemetery. Pallbearers will be her grandsons, as well as her sons-in-law. Her five granddaughters will serve as honorary pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Sunny Glen Children’s Home, San Benito, Texas.
All services are under the care and direction of Seydler – Hill Funeral Home.