Jewell Hanna

Jewell Hanna suffered acute congestive heart failure that ended her long life on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

Until her last days, she remained cheerful, polite and optimistic, loving time spent with family and friends, and grateful and appreciative to her caregivers at Madrona House.

During her 96 years, she touched many hearts, inspired many young people and was a role model for how to live well and age with grace.

Jewell She was born in May, 1922, in Fargo, North Dakota. Her parents, Victor and Lottie Leeby, and beloved brother Vic Leeby Jr., predeceased her.

After graduating from Fargo Central High School, she attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Minnesota.

In May 1945, she married her high school sweetheart, Paul “Shelley” Hanna. Following his law degree and the birth of their daughter, Stephanie, the Hannas moved to England and Turkey while Shelley pursued a PhD from Oxford in archaeology. After returning to England, his interest turned to teaching for the U.S. Air Force overseas university education program. In 1963, they moved to Athens, Greece, where Shelley served as Education Officer for U.S. military installations in Greece, Crete and the west coast of Turkey. They greatly enjoyed pursuing their interests in classical archaeology and history, taking up SCUBA diving and spending weekends and vacations exploring the Greek Islands in their sailboat. During their 15 years in Europe, they traveled extensively.

Returning to the United States in the late 1960s, they lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Jewell earned an MS in Psychology. In the mid-1970s, they relocated to Elko, Nevada, where both Shelley and Jewell taught at Great Basin College. In 1998, following Shelley’s death, Jewell moved to Alexandria, Virginia, to live near Stephanie and family.

When Stephanie changed jobs and moved to the Seattle area, Jewell followed in 2003, and resided with them on Bainbridge Island. In her later years, she developed a passion for cruising and took many trips from Antarctica to Scandinavia, circling the globe and enjoying port excursions. She also traveled by air to China and India, rode trains around Switzerland and loved to visit friends in England and Greece. While at home, Jewell enjoyed activities at the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center from line-dancing to memoir writing. After breaking her hip in 2017, Jewell moved into assisted living at Madrona House. She developed serious congestive heart failure that worsened during 2018, requiring hospitalization in April. She was able briefly to return to Madrona House under extraordinarily caring medical staff, Multi-Care Hospice of Kitsap County, and with her family at her side until the end.

Jewell Hanna is survived by daughter Stephanie Hanna and son-in-law Hal Moore of Bainbridge Island, granddaughters Susannah Dhamdhere (Aashish) and Shelley Livingston (Mark) and four great-grandchildren, residing in Seattle. Jewell will be interred with her husband in a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia later this summer. An on-line Guestbook has been set up at, and donations could be sent to PAWS of Bainbridge Island, PO Box 10811, or the Senior Community Center, 370 Brien Drive SE, address for both is Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.

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