Martha Noble Lee Hassell was born December 12, 1945, the second child of former Chief Justice Roy Noble Lee and Sue Epting Lee of Forest, MS, passed away Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson. She attended Forest Public Schools graduating in 1964. While at Forest High School she was the shooting guard and member of the Forest High School Lady Bearcats basketball team that went 44-0 and were the state champions her senior year. She was a varsity cheerleader and was involved in many extracurricular activities. Martha was also honored to represent Forest as their Miss Hospitality.
After high school, Martha attended and graduated from Mississippi College with a degree in elementary education. While at MC she was a member of Kissimee Social Club serving as president her senior year. She was also a varsity cheerleader and was selected as a Circle K Sweetheart. She met her husband to be, John Francis Hassell of Moss Point, MS, at MC and they married July 26, 1968, just a few months after they graduated.
She taught fifth grade in the Clinton Public schools for five years until the birth of their first child, a daughter, Jennifer Lee Hassell on September 17, 1974. She and her husband John, along with their daughter Jenny, moved to Laurel, MS in July 1977, where John began a career in Family Medicine. Their second child, John Francis Hassell Jr. (Jay), was born in Laurel on January 13, 1978.
Martha was a very active member of First Baptist Church Laurel. On several occasions she served as president of the WOM (Women on Missions), was a member of the Celebration choir, and president of her Sunday school class. She also served on many committees including the deacon nominating committee, pastor search committee and was the president of the First Baptist Church Foundation. Martha was also active for many years in the Junior Axillary of Laurel and Northwood Garden Club.
Her greatest joy has been nurturing and supporting her children and later in life her, grandchildren. She has been “all in” on every aspect of their lives. Whether it was dance, gymnastics, scouts, baseball, tennis, soccer, cheerleading, show choir or football she was always there to show support, unconditional love, encouragement and sometimes the appropriate discipline.
In recent years, she has enjoyed her grandchildren, traveling, and caring for her two lovable labs. She has been the care mate and supportive loving wife to her husband John for over 51 years. Her infectious smile and vivacious personality have won the hearts of so many. She will be unimaginably missed by her husband, family and friends. She lived a life of loyal support of her husband and family and an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ her Lord and Savior. Hers was a life well lived.
In addition to her parents, Martha is preceded in death by her brother, Steve Lee. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Dr. John F Hassell, of Laurel; daughter, Jenny Cummins (Coleman), of Brandon, MS; son, Jay Hassell (Emily), of Madison, MS; grandchildren: Davis Cummins, Emilee Cummins, Brooks Hassell, and Lee Alston Hassell. She is also survived by siblings Susie Hederman (Zach), Tommy Lee (Gail), Noble Lee (Paula), sister-in-law Tammy Lee, and many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be held from 2:30 pm until 5 pm on Sunday, October 6, 2019, at First Baptist Church of Laurel. Services are 11 am on Monday, October 7 at First Baptist Church of Laurel, 607 W 5th St. in Laurel, with Dr. Randy Turner officiating. Visitation will begin at 9:30 am Monday prior to the service. Interment will be held following the service in Lake Park Hills Cemetery in Laurel, MS
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to The Good Shepherd Clinic of Laurel or the Music Ministry of First Baptist Church. Contributions can be mailed to The Good Shephard Clinic or First Baptist Music Ministry c/o First Baptist Church Laurel, 607 W 5th Street, Laurel, MS 39440.
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