Nadine "De" Hester
Photo No. 2591
Nadine May Hester, 95, passed away on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. To family and friends, she was known as De. She was a kind and gentle soul, but full of fun. A friend to everyone she met. De was the sort of person who ended a conversation by saying, I love you, and she meant it.
De was born in Beaumont, Texas to Cecil and Bernice Hester. She grew up in a house on North Street by the train tracks, spending her youth with her sister, Jerry. The sisters roller skated in the basement and had a pet goat named Billy. De liked to joke that she was the one who chased the boys in the neighborhood. She played sports with them and went to dances with them. She loved music and as a young woman, worked in a record store. She recalled spending most of her paycheck on the very records she was supposed to sell. Especially Elvis Presley records. She had his 45's, his albums, pictures of him and more. Her favorite Elvis song was "Can't Help Falling in Love with You."
De lived through two tragedies in her young life. Her father, Cecil, passed away when she was just 14. She also lost her stepfather, Charlie Corder. She and her mom had to fend for themselves. De got a job at Gulf States Utilities and worked there for 36 years. She devoted much of her life to caring for her mother and later, her niece, Julie. She was a swell aunt who always had time to play games with the kids. She enjoyed taking them to the South Texas State Fair. De also helped others. She took friends and neighbors to their doctors' appointments, as well as weekly dialysis and chemo treatments. She donated to many non-profits, especially veterans groups.
De was so proud of her house on Sparrow Way. She bought it before it was even finished. She mowed the yard herself, well into her 70's. It was her home for decades. It was also home to her cats and dogs. She had many pets throughout the years. One, in particular, was her closest companion. That was her big, yellow cat, Colby. In the twilight of her life, Colby was always by her side or more accurately, in her lap, covering all of her lap. They had meals together, watched TV together and talked to each other. They loved each other. He will miss her.
In her last ten years, De lived with her nephew, Bill, and his wife, Denise. There were many nights of dinner served in the living room, watching Shark Tank, the Golden Girls and the Astros. De liked to say that Jose Altuve was her little man. Denise kept a close eye on De's health and continued to do so when she moved to at Seven Acres Senior Care. De loved playing bingo there. She won three times on her last day at the table. Even in a wheelchair, De was still "chasing the boys" at the nursing home. She was always trying to corral her friend, Bob, the cowboy. He was one of many new friends at Seven Acres. They gravitated to her and held hands with her to get some of that positive energy. To them, De was like a ray of sunshine.
De loved her niece, Jill, and talked to her daily by phone when visiting became more difficult. They shared a love of animals and De got daily updates about Jill's pets. De made fun of her senior citizen frailties, saying I don't know why I'm like this & it couldn't be my age! She would usually follow that line up with a lyric from a Doris Day song, "Que Sera, Sera" & what will be, will be. De would often say, I don't know why I've lived this long. Then, one day, she said she had found the answer. It was to spend more time with everyone and to make them happy. She made us all very happy.
De was preceded in death by her mother, Bernice, her father Cecil, her stepfather, Charlie, her sister Jerry and Jerry's husband Bruce and her niece, Julie.
She is survived by her nephew, Bill, and his wife Denise; her niece, Jill, and husband Paul; Jeff Davis and all the kids in the family who she loved so much; Allison, Kelly, Sean, Alex, Joseph, Jennifer, Grant, Zachary, Zane, Jackson, Jefferson, Grayson and Lawson. Her family appreciates the Seven Acres staff and especially her home caregiver and friend, Ada Torres, who brought fun and laughter to De's life and even made her an Elvis blanket.
If you would like to make a donation, De loved her church, First United Methodist Church, 701 Calder Avenue, Beaumont, Texas, 77701.
A gathering of Ms. Hester's family and friends will begin at 12:00 p.m., with her funeral service to follow at 1:000 p.m., Wednesday, June 28, 2023, at Broussard's, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont, and her interment to follow at Magnolia Cemetery, Beaumont.