It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Dessa Marcella Hanes. Born Dessa Marcella Bigham in Brownwood, Texas on August 19, 1940, she passed away peacefully, surrounded by family in her home in Eureka in the late hours of February 7, 2023, after a short but difficult battle with lung cancer.

Dessa was the seventh out of 13 children. She and her siblings grew up picking cotton with their father. When she was a teenager, she moved to California, eventually settling in Crescent City, where she met the love of her life, Bennie Frank Hanes Sr. They were married in 1958, had four children, moved to Eureka, and were together for 33 years before Bennie’s death in 1991. Dessa worked at Bank of America, first as a teller then all the way up to money counter in the vault, until she retired after working there for just over 30 years.

Dessa loved camping with her kids when they were younger. She had fun getting to visit Texas when she could, especially when accompanied with her daughter Mitzi, where they made stops at the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert. Her favorite music was country music, she had a picture of a young George Straight hanging on her wall, and she loved going to concerts with her daughter Sandy. She spent her free time working on puzzles, reading romance novels, and cooking. She enjoyed all types of crime shows, lifetime movies, and never missed an episode of Dancing with the Stars. She looked forward to speaking with her daughter Mary about the shows they were watching. These last few years, the most important thing to her was spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by parents: Pervy Victoria Sr. and Delia Bigham; her older brother: Pervy Victoria Bigham Jr.; her sisters: Eva Hennassee, Shirley Baker, Margaret Wells, and Mary Snead; her husband: Bennie Hanes Sr.; her son: Bennie Hanes Jr.; and her grandsons: Scott Mitchell and Kristopher Mitchell.

Dessa is survived by her brothers: Tommy, Kenneth, Jess, Jerry, and Bill Bigham; her sisters: Katie Horton and Victoria Massey; her daughters: Mitzi Hanes, Mary Hanes, and Sandy Powel; her son in law of 41 years: Donny Powell; her grandchildren: Curtis Daniels, Nicole Powell, William Lipscomb, Amanda Lipscomb, Georgia Gladitz, Delia Hanes, Cameron Powell, Stetson Powell, Amanda Bingham, Wendy Hicks, Kali Powell, Dawson Morin, and Lily Smith; and 13 great-grandchildren.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Dessa Hanes’ loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email