Thomas “Tom” Hanna

September 25, 1938 - February 6, 2022

Thomas Lee Hanna was called to his heavenly home on Sunday, February 6, 2022. He was surrounded by family at the time of his passing.

Tom was born in Hall Summit, Louisiana in 1938. He and his parents, Claiborne and Ruth Hanna, moved to Nederland, Texas when Tom was five years old. He graduated from Nederland High School in 1957.

Tom attended Baylor University and graduated in 1961. He attended the University of Texas School of Law and graduated in 1964. Tom enrolled in the USMC Officer’s program but was unable to serve due to a previous injury. He returned to Southeast Texas and joined the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office in 1964, as an Assistant D.A. He left the D.A.’s office in 1967 for private practice in Port Arthur.

In 1970, Tom married the love of his life, Elizabeth Shifflette. After a few years in private practice, Tom was encouraged to run for Jefferson County District Attorney. He was elected twice and served from 1971 to 1978. From 1973 to 1978, Tom was the Chairman of the Legislative Committee, Texas District and County Attorneys Association. This committee had the responsibility for drafting Texas’ Penal Codes and coordinating the Associations’ law enforcement legislative effort. Tom then became the Executive Director of the State Bar of Texas in Austin and served in that role until 1981.

In 1985, Tom began serving on the Board of Texas Lawyers Insurance Exchange where he served until the time of his death. He joined the law firm of Mehaffy, Weber, Keith, & Gonsoulin and remained there until 1996. In October of 1996, Tom went back into private practice. Tom was recognized by the State Bar of Texas in 2016 for 50 years of outstanding service with the State Bar of Texas. He was also the proud recipient of the Blackstone Award In 2018, a lifetime achievement honor bestowed upon him from the Jefferson County Bar Association.

Tom taught Sunday School for over 50 years and at the time of his death he and Elizabeth were members of Calder Baptist Church where Tom proudly served as Deacon for many years.

Tom was preceded in death by his father, Claiborne Hanna; mother, Ruth Hanna; and granddaughter, Kara Whitaker Hudson.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Shifflette Hanna; daughter, Rebecca Authement; son, Thomas Lee Hanna, Jr. and wife, Julie; grandchildren, Devin Morgan; JoLinn Russell and husband, Wesley; James Hanna; KayLeigh Threlkeld; and Peyton Hanna; and great-grandchildren, Gracyan Hudson, Riley Hudson, Addyson Hudson, Emma Morgan, Devin Morgan, Jr., and Daxton Morgan.

Honorary Pallbearers: Hon. Larry Thorne; Hon. Gary Sanderson; Hon. Bob Wortham; Tom Maness; David Bonham; Richard Hughes; Jack Smith; Lynn Hawkins; Brack Jones; Patricia Chamblin; Sandra Clark; Roland Bieber; John Randolph; Chris Shifflette; Paul Shifflette; Tim Sheffield; Devin Morgan; Riley Hudson; Hon. Larry Gist (deceased); Hon. Leonard Giblin (deceased); Danny Doyle (deceased); John Paul Davis (deceased); Steve Reinstra (deceased); Dexter Patterson (deceased); and Bo Horka (deceased).

In lieu of flowers, you may submit memorial contributions to Calder Baptist Church, 1005 North 11th Street, Beaumont, Texas 77702 in memory of Tom Hanna.

Please observe social distancing guidelines. By attending any public event, you are acknowledging the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. Please follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control:

Download Program

Gathering of Family and Friends

Calder Baptist Church
  • 1005, N 11th St, Beaumont, TX, 77702,
  • February 12, 2022
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Funeral Service

Calder Baptist Church
  • 1005, N 11th St, Beaumont, TX, 77702,
  • February 12, 2022
  • 3:00 pm


Broussard’s Crematorium
  • 5150, Stivers Dr, Beaumont, TX, 77705,

Comments (12)

    Christy Philyaw Gray says:

    I first met Tom when I worked at PAPD back in 1975. Years later he would be my Sunday School teacher in the mid-80’s. Tom was by far one of the best SS teachers I’ve ever had. He loved the Lord, he knew the Word of God, and he loved teaching others about the Lord. I’m praying for all the family, especially Liz. We’ll see him again!

    Nancy Landry says:

    If you come to Cropo’s Barber Shop one time or a life time you are a Cropo’s Barber Shop Boy Forever and in My Heart Forever
    Rest In Paradise

    Eric Escagne says:

    Tommy, very sorry to hear about your Dad. I remember him coming around to basketball games and our Babe Ruth games. He was always smiling and friendly to me. Think I remember someone quipping one day that he had excused himself from an important meeting at work telling everyone he had to get to his son’s ballgame. Deepest sympathies to you and your family.

    David Bonham says:

    Mr. Hanna hired me right out of law school as an Asst. DA. What a good man. He will be missed by all!! What an honor to be an honorary pallbearer. Wish I could be there today to celebrate his life but only found out this morning that he had passed!

    Gene Landry says:

    Tom is a legacy for honesty and integrity in the profession of law, and as an individual involved in our community. He was admired as he served in public office, and he was an asset to our taxpayers serving as attorney for Jefferson Central Appraisal District, ensuring equality for all citizens. He will be missed, and we pray for his family’s comfort knowing he is with our heavenly Father.

    Andre & Sagrario Van Chau says:

    Dearest Hanna Family,
    Sagrario and I and the entire Van Chau family are devastated to learn of Tom’s passing.

    We send our sincerest condolences to Liz, Tommy, Becky and all his family. We pray for the eternal rest of his soul.

    Andre and Sagrario Van Chau

    lynn bencowitz says:

    Oh Liz, my heart, like many others’ is broken. He was a lovely man, and so good to so many! The sorrow comes from from the depth of love, and I pray that you will find comfort and peace in the knowledge that so many people loved him so much! Lynn Bencowitz

    Candise Hollis says:

    Tom was an asset to the legal profession and the community. My deepest sympathy to the family.

    Big Jim Salles says:

    To those not knowing Tom, they will never be able to appreciate just how large a hole has opened in all the activities of which Tom was a part. No one can fill the gap his absence had created! He cannot be replaced.
    Tom was a dear, kind soul, a gentleman par excellence!
    Tom was a consummate professional, meticulous in detail, thorough in thought, careful in all points of law…and life!
    I am blessed to have known him, and Liz!
    They have a blessing to me and my family.
    I shall miss Tom Hanna……
    Big Jim Salles, Blackjack Community, Texas

    mary ann shumaker says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Tom’s death I know they are holding court in heaven. May he rest in the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Paula Bothe says:

    Tom became my friend the day I met him during freshman orientation at Baylor. I never met another like him. How he loved History, the Bible, and the law! There are few people who remain true to themselves their whole life. He was one. Liz, he was fortunate to find you. You made a great team. I pray that his memory will continue to bless you as his life did. With tears, prayers and love. pb

    Susan McDonald says:

    Sending prayers & love to the Hanna family. I know Mr. Hanna will be missed.

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