Aletha “Hanna” West, of Groesbeck, passed away on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at Hillcrest Hospital in Waco.
Graveside services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at the Pavilion in Fort Parker Memorial Park, with Mrs. Jana Raymond officiating.
Hanna was born in Corpus Christi, TX. on November 14, 1945. She spent 20 years as an infectious disease microbiologist at UT, Houston. She had a passion for medicine and loved questioning the doctors on medical jargon, even in the very end. She worked with infectious diseases to seek cures and better understand microbes. She loved what she did. She loved teaching medical students more than any other aspect of her job. This was a calling for Hanna, and not a job.
In 1985, Hanna relocated to Groesbeck, and fulfilled her adult dream of owning her own home and land. She built a home with a local builder on her 10 acres. On her property, she has had longhorn cattle, rabbits, dogs, cats, horses, and a parakeet.
Hanna adored animals - all animals. She loved wild birds, often calling her daughter to wax poetic about a tufted tittmouse or another obscure bird she sighted on her property. Hanna loved all of God’s creatures: cattle, cats, but above all dogs and horses. Her childhood was spent with a Shetland pony named Taco, that she had for over 30 years. He worshipped her with his last breath. For 20 years after she moved to Groesbeck, she had a beloved horse named Officer (“Officer and a Gentleman”.) He is buried on her homestead.
In the twilight of her life, when many people stop engaging in new ventures, Hanna successfully raised and bred longhorn cattle. She was fiercely proud of her herd and she cultivated and bred with attention to desirable traits.
Hanna has always been a believer. She took her daughter to church and MYF weekly as a child. In her later years, her faith grew stronger and sustained her in her darkest hours. She knows that Jesus Christ has a room in his mansion prepared for her arrival. She told her daughter that she did not fear death as she knew she was saved.
Hanna loved to laugh. She loved a great joke and often asked friends and family to repeat favorite anecdotes to make her laugh. No story was too old or too stale for her. She loved laughter.
In the end she made jokes about being operated on in the basement of the hospital. On her last day with cognitive skills, she made her daughter and the ER nurse laugh. She made some other comments that were more comical but not fit for print.
Hanna attended and loved Groesbeck United Methodist Church. She was very proud of being Methodist. And very proud of her Scottish heritage. She was a direct descendant of William Wallace. She was an active supporter of the Groesbeck City Library.
Hanna was a single parent long before that term was common. She was a sole income provider for her family of 2 humans and a dog and a horse. She will be missed for her humor and her spirit.
Hanna was preceded in death by her mother Miriam Young Wallace, father Calvin Wallace, and grand-mother, Aletha Hanna Young (of Maine).
She is survived by her daughter, Katheryn Heather West; sisters, Lonetta Wallace, and Abbe Wallace; dear friend, Julie Norton; sister, Dorcas Powell; brother-in-law, Rodney Powell; niece, Priscilla Powell; best friend/confidant/savior, Frances Bates; and dear friend, Kay Schmaltz.
Hanna asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to “no-kill shelters” in her name. She specifically mentioned Lara’s House in Mexia, TX. She was also a supporter of Becky’s Hope horse rescue in Frisco, TX. Even a $5.00 donation could help a needy animal.