Johnnie Faye (Jeff) Hattman

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Johnnie Faye Jeff Hattman, 88, of Orange passed away Thursday, May 3, 2012 in Beaumont. A gathering of family and friends will be Sunday, May 6, 2012, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange from 3 to 9:00 p.m. There will be a memorial service beginning promptly at 7:37 p.m., Monday, May 7, 2012 at Orange Community Playhouse. A graveside service and inurnment will be at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at the City Cemetery in San Augustine. Jeff was born December 22, 1923 in San Augustine to the late Fred and Della (Mitchell) Hines. She always wanted to be an actress like Ruby Keeler and played the lead in many school plays in high school. After graduating in 1941, she attended Stephen F. Austin where she was voted a club favorite and was a member of the Pine Burr Club that later became the Chi Omega Sorority. In 1945 she was the editor of Pine Log S.F.A. newspaper and graduated with a B.A. degree. She immediately enrolled in graduate school and earned her Master's degree with a double major in English and Biology. After graduation she relocated to Orange where she was employed at DuPont until she met Sam and decided to marry him. At that time it was against policy for husband and wife to work at DuPont so Jeff resigned and planned a wedding. They were married February 19, 1949 in San Augustine and five years later Melissa was born. She started her teaching career at Cove Elementary and ended it 34 years later at Little Cypress Mauriceville high school where she directed 12 musicals and 12 one act plays. Jeff was one of the founding members of Orange Community Players in 1951 where she directed Hello Dolly, Music Man, Quilters, the entire Nunsense series, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, South Pacific and many others, all of this with Sam's tireless support. Although Melissa lived in Houston and later St. Louis she never missed a play that was directed by her mom. She was also a member of 9th and Elm Church of Christ, Sunset Grove Country Club and the bridge club that didn't play bridge. She loved life and all those whose lives she touched including students, actors, countless friends, Sam, Melissa and Kathy. She was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Della Hines and husband, Sam Hattman. Those left to cherish her memory is her daughter, Melissa Hattman and her life partner, Kathy Meath both of St. Louis, MO; niece, Linda Groene of Los Angeles, CA; great nephew, Nick Hope of Ashville, NC and close relatives, Howard Mitchell, Tommie Mae Melton, Aubrey Anders all of San Augustine and Doris Williams of Bronson. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Mitch Bertrand, Paul Burch, Travis Clark, Larry David, Kevin Doss, Bill Duncan and Mike Trahan. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Orange Community Players, 708 W. Division Ave, Orange, TX 77630; Church of Christ Keenagers, 501 9th St, Orange, TX 77630 or to a .

Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on May 6, 2012
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