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Norman Earl Hahn, 1931-2020

Thursday, March 12, 2020
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Norman Earl Hahn, one of the last “white hat cowboys,” did not die with his boots on, but passed quietly in his own bed on March 4,2020. Elwanda O’Keefe Hahn, his spouse of almost 7o years, was by his side. Norman died where he lived for most of his life, in Jayton, Texas. He was 88.

Norman is survived by his wife, Elwanda, of Jayton, and their four daughters: Holly Hahn Sorrells, Dana Hahn Brinkman, Janine Hahn Spiller (Russ), and Erin Hahn Edwards (Ricky). Grandchildren are Michael (Brenna) Muscatell, Megan Muscatell Butler (Austin), Kelsey Brinkman Smith (Derek); Alyssa Spiller Sajovich (David) and Steven Kent Spiller; and Allison Ballard Kierman (Alan), Tony Harvey and Ashley Harvey. His great-grandchildren continue to grow in number. Two nephews and two nieces join the family in celebrating Norman’s life.

Norman was preceded in death by his parents, Earl Clinton Hahn and Eva Hale Hahn of Girard, Texas, to whom he was born on September 5,1931, in Swenson, Texas. He is also preceded in death by his older sister, Jewel Dean Hahn Bruce of Odessa/San Antonio, and by one nephew.

The son of a farming family, Norman learned early to work hard, live right, and trust God. After he and Elwanda married in 1950, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard. Under the GI Bill, he received his bachelor of science degree in math (awarded with honors) from Texas Tech University, going to school while working and raising a family.

Perhaps best known as a cattleman and rancher, he was also a farmer, beloved teacher, and county judge. He did not believe in retiring, but thought a man should work until he died—and he did.

He was smart, kind, grateful for his blessings. Norman said that he was “just an old cowboy, a country boy,” but others describe an humble, honest man, a loyal friend, strong advocate, one who took time to lend aid, and a devoted family man who made an art of telling stories around the table.

Summer vacations meant fishing, usually in the rivers and lakes of the Colorado mountains. Every day was “a good day,” but none were better than those on the ranch. He saw God’s hand in the red bluffs of the canyons and in the wildflowers on the range.

“Gunsmoke” was his favorite television show; he wanted that noted. Billy Graham was “the best preacher,” and his model for living.

Norman enjoyed Bible study and worship at First Baptist Church, Jayton, Texas.

Norman served well his country, community, family, and God. He will be remembered.

Services for Norman were held 1:00 p.m. Monday March 9, 2020, at the First Baptist Church in Jayton, with David Jones officiating under the direction of Zapata Funeral Home, and interment following services at Girard Cemetery.