OBITUARY: Thomas John Hannen


Thomas John Hannen, 89, of Columbia, Tennessee, peacefully passed away following a brief illness.

Born on November 15, 1934, in Steubenville, Ohio, to Lillian Eleanor (née Robson) and Thomas Clellan Hannen, he lived a life marked by kindness, compassion, and an enduring commitment to the welfare of others.

After graduating from high school at the remarkable age of 16, Thomas moved to New York City, where he cultivated a lifelong love of adventure and jazz. He returned to his hometown and attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he was an active member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

Upon graduation, Thomas discovered his true calling: providing safe, affordable, and dignified housing for the elderly and people experiencing poverty. As a dedicated public housing executive in Cleveland, Ohio, Rockford, Illinois, and Ft. Wayne, Indiana (where he retired as the Executive Director), he devoted his career to making living spaces beautiful and comfortable for all, always treating others with the utmost respect and compassion.

His efforts earned him national recognition, numerous senior leadership roles within various professional organizations, including the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), and many well-deserved awards. Additionally, he served for many years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Housing Authority Insurance Group.

Thomas’ personal life was as fulfilling as his professional one. He was married to Beverly Kathryn (Kathy) Cozzone, the love of his life and best friend, for 58 wonderful years. Their bond was a testament to true partnership and devotion. They were inseparable.

Thomas was devoted to his family and adored his daughters and grandchildren. He never missed an opportunity to celebrate his loved ones’ accomplishments, showing unwavering support and pride. Always living life to the fullest and celebrating others, he delighted in attending his granddaughter’s graduation just days before he passed away.

His personal interests were diverse and enriching; he had a deep love for art, history, and genealogy, a passion for Scotland, and an enthusiasm for vintage automobile racing. He loved the outdoors and all animals. A true gentleman, Thomas was charming, quick to smile, and had a knack for making dry jokes that brought joy to those around him.

In retirement, Thomas continued his legacy of service, volunteering with the State Health Insurance Program, AARP, and the Maury County Democratic Party. His unwavering commitment to helping others was a hallmark of his character.

Thomas is survived by his beloved wife, Kathy; daughters Kimberly Hannen Myers of Ohio and Kathryn Hannen Walker (Philip) of Nashville, Tennessee; cherished grandchildren, Michael Myers and Katie Rush Walker; brothers, William and David; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Thomas’ life was a testament to the power of kindness, dedication, faith, and service. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Thomas will be interred at Larkspur Conservation. A memorial service will be held later this summer. The family asks that you honor his legacy by doing an act of kindness.


For more obituaries visit

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here