Helen Ruth Hatten

helen hatten

Loving daughter, sister, devoted mother, grandmother and true friend, Helen Ruth Nickleberry was born April 9, 1935 in Naples, Texas to the parentage of Alberta Sheppard and Booker T. Gaston. She was known as a jubilant child, full of love and kindness. She accepted Christ at a young age from her childhood church, Marietta Baptist Church.

Helen received her formal education from Bethlehem High school where she excelled in academics and basketball. After high school she fell in love with Debron Hatten Jr. and they were wed on July 22, 1954. They had four children: Michael, Kenneth, Terry and Anita.

Helen’s work and volunteer career spanned over several years including an employee at Maloo Sewing Factory for ten years until it closed, home health advocate, Sunday school teacher and a Lady of Distinction Order of Eastern Star member. She was always present with kind words, great advice and laughter. She loved us and we all loved and adored her in return.

She is preceded in death by her loving parents: Alberta Nickleberry Sheppard and Booker T. Gaston, her brothers: Milton “Bo” Gaston and Jake Gaston, Albert “Pap” Sheppard, her sisters: Hazel McCloud, Margie Morton, and son, Michael Hatten.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Debron Hatten Jr., brother, H.W. “Soup” Gaston, sisters, Joycie “Nell” Dawson, Merdie Mae Summers, Doris Martin, Madie Martin, children, Kenneth Hatten, Terry Hatten and Anita “Gail” Hatten, her granddaughters: Ebony Jones, Anna Hatten and Deserea Hopkins, along with nine great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends.

Services will be 12:00 p.m. Saturday, April 3, 2021 at Missionary Baptist Church, 305 N. Pecan St. in Hughes Springs.  Burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park under the direction of Reeder-Davis Funeral Home in Hughes Springs.

Viewing will be 12:00 noon until 5:00 p.m. Friday evening at the funeral home.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Mrs. Hatten was kind and loving to everyone. She always had a smile on her face and walked in faith.

  2. Helen was a great mother. I knew her through her kids that I taught to play tennis. She and Debron were friends to the Reeders, the Davises, and the Schindlers. All who knew her were blessed. May God be with you, Kenneth, Terry and all.

  3. Aunt Helen it’s not gone be the same we going to miss you 😪 but I can say all 4 of y’all are back together again. I Love You Karen

  4. Prayers for the family during this difficult time! May the memories made over the years provide you with peace and comfort!

  5. To Debron and family. Cousin Helen was very special to me and I will always remember how she loved Arcelia and me. She continued that love down to our children who also remember her fondly! My prayers are with you during this difficult time. We love you all. Don Johnson, Arcelia Johnson-Fannin, and our families.

  6. Ms. Helen was a lovely person, who will be deeply missed. I am grateful for the fond memories of Ms. Helen. It was a joy for me to observe the genuine friendship of Ms. Helen and my aunt whose name was Gemeta. They both had so much in common: Love for family, God, church and the Hughes Springs Community. I enjoyed hearing the stories about how she and my aunt would demand a seat at the table in the 60's and 70's to discuss justice for the citizens of Hughes Springs. Ms. Helen left footprints for many to follow. She fought a good fight and her work down here is done.
    Mr. Debron and family, please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers

  7. I loved Ms. Helen. To you Kenneth and Terry, I offer my sincere condolences. A bed of pink roses is presented at her head from Debra Kay Watson and the entire Watson family. We love you.

  8. I have had the pleasure to be friends with Mrs. Hatten son Kenneth for most of my adult life. I would occasionally speak with Mrs. Hatten and she was always as kind as she was beautiful, inside and out. She loved her son Kenneth and was always so proud of him. Her conversations were always uplifting and encouraging. She will be missed by so many of us that had the pleasure of knowing her. May she enter into eternal peace and joy. Blessings also to the family. My condolences for your loss.

  9. My deepest condolences. I love you all??🙏🏼
    May God comfort and be with you all..
    Helen meant so much to our family.. love always.. Charlotte Windham

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