Leon Jefferson "Jeff" Hassell
February 4, 1931 - September 4, 2021
Fort Worth, Texas - Leon Jefferson "Jeff" Hassell, 90, passed away, Sept. 4, 2021, at his home.
Funeral: 2:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, 2021 in Greenwood Chapel with private graveside to follow. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Greenwood.
Jeff was born Feb. 4, 1931 in Childress, Texas. He was the youngest of three and the only son of Lon and Annabel Hassell. Jeff graduated from Childress High School, then attended Texas Tech University to study engineering before transferring to Texas Christian University to study religion and philosophy. He graduated from TCU in 1951 then earned his Masters of Divinity at Brite Divinity School in 1953. Jeff served as Senior Minister at First Christian Church in Dumas, Texas from 1957-1962. He was then called to be Senior Minister at South Hills Christian Church in Fort Worth. He served there until 1970 when he decided to leave Christian ministry in keeping with his humanist beliefs. He became a life insurance and estate planning expert and representative, first for Connecticut General, then for Northwestern Mutual for over 37 years, faithfully serving clients in the Fort Worth and Dallas metropolitan area. He retired in January 2013.
Jeff married Rozann Carlock Hassell in 1953. The two met at TCU where Rozann also graduated in 1953 with a degree in English. Jeff and Rozann raised three children in Dumas and Fort Worth, Sara Marie, Jeffrey Scott and Suzanne. Jeff had a broad-ranging, curious mind. He loved both things mechanical and things philosophical and was most at home in his library or his work bench. Also, going back to his West Texas farm boy roots, he loved and respected the natural world and he and Rozann were able to visit many of the wonderful U.S. national parks. But his true love was other people. Jeff rarely forgot a name and he loved being with, understanding and serving others. He spoke easily to everyone, loved telling and hearing stories and jokes, reciting poetry and especially loved hearing from his children, grandchildren, nephew and nieces what they were thinking and doing. On their birthdays, he often asked, "what have you learned these xx years?" He was a gifted writer and speaker and often gave wonderful toasts and talks at family gatherings to be sure we recalled all who went before and savored our lives together. All of us will continue to be guided by his love, warmth, joy for life and belief in us and in human goodness and potential.
Jeff was preceded in death by his sisters and their husbands, Lonene and Roy Miller of Midland and Daisy Fern and W.T. "Dub" Nelson of Dallas; nephew, Nick Miller of Midland; niece, Nelda Nelson of Childress; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Sara Frances and Robert "Bob" Bunselmeyer of Fort Worth.
He is survived by his wife, Rozann; daughter, Sara and husband, Russell; son, Scott and wife, Ann-Shannon; daughter, Suzanne and husband, Joshua; grandchildren, Ryan (Mallory) Stover, Brad Stover, Madison Hassell, Grayson Hassell, Tristan Hassell, Sam Milton and Anabel Milton; nieces, Nancy Gayle (Jay) of Angleton and Victoria Lonene Miller of Midland; sister-in-law, Nancy Grant of Tyler; brother-in-law, John Carlock (Arbah) of Springfield, Missouri; and many other beloved extended family members.
Memorial donations may be made if desired to a charity of your choice
Published by Star-Telegram on Sep. 9, 2021.