Reba Hannah, 87

Published 11:20 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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Reba Sue (Forti) Hannah, 87, of Hampton, VA, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Sunday, February 11, 2024. Reba was born a coal miner’s daughter in Liggett (Harlan County), Kentucky, to the late Lewis and Veda (Hall) Forti. She graduated from Hall High School in 1954 and married her high school sweetheart, the love of her life, James (Jim) Hannah two months later. She immediately embraced life as an Army wife, proudly supported Jim in his military career and loved raising their two daughters (Karen and Lori) in many exciting duty stations around the world.
Reba was a homemaker first and dedicated her life to her husband, children, grandchildren and great grands, who she loved more than life. Her life was characterized by her dedication to family and friends, her love of God, and zeal for life, laughter and adventure. And her love of sitting at the beach at Buckroe. A kinder, more compassionate and caring person couldn’t be found…so many people have been blessed by her sweet spirit, true interest in them, her spunk and beautiful way of looking at the world and making people feel welcome, comfortable and loved.
She also loved books and wanted everyone else to love them too! For over 40 years, she worked for numerous book stores – B. Dalton, Waldenbooks and Barnes and Noble. As Manager of Waldenbooks at Coliseum Mall for many years, she consistently won awards for being the best District Sales Leader and making her store a Million Dollar Club Member. She finally retired from Barnes and Noble at the age of 80, but still loved talking about and sharing her knowledge of books!
Reba was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis and Veda Forti; and daughter, Lori Diane Hannah Coleman. She is survived by her loving husband of almost 70 years, Jim Hannah, Hampton, VA; daughter, Karen Hannah, Woodbridge, VA; brother, Dickie Forti, Kingsport, TN; grandchildren, Jennifer Holland and Jessica Roske; great-grandchildren, Bryce Moore, Mason Roske, Brynna Roske and Luke Roske; sisters-in-law Sylvia Meincke and Ann Hamacher; as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.
A special thank you to her nephew Victor Hannah and niece Vicki Grimes from KY who came to spend a week with their Aunt Sue and assisted the family with all caregiving needs; and to niece Patty Lawson who flew in from TN to spend some time with her. There are not enough words to express our gratitude. Just know she loved you all so much.
The family will receive friends from 11 AM – 12 PM on Monday, February 19, 2024, at Langley Baptist Church, Hampton, VA; with a funeral service conducted by Pastor Ben Barrow immediately following at 12 PM. A reception will follow the service in the Fellowship Hall. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made in Reba’s memory/name to Langley Baptist Church, 116 E. Little Back River Road, Hampton, VA 23669 or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Arrangements by R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home, Hampton.

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