Rozelle Hahn, MD

Class Year




Posted on: April 24, 2024

Born on October 15, 1923, in Columbus, Mississippi, Rozelle “Pode” Hahn witnessed profound changes in our state and country in her 100 years. Her career as a doctor, when women rarely were accepted into medical schools, reflects those changes. She died on Monday, April 1, 2024, leaving a legacy of commitment to caring for those needing medical care, practicing kindness, and educating several generations of doctors and medical caregivers in the region.

Rozelle lost her father shortly after the Great Depression began and her mother passed away as it was ending. Those were lean times, no coffee, no sugar, no meat, but she managed to attend Mississippi State College for Women as World War II gripped the world. Her talent and intellect were obvious, and she went on to graduate school and medical training at the University of Virginia. In exchange for supporting her education, she owed Mississippi four years of rural practice and went to Indianola in the heart of the Delta. There, cotton was still picked by hand and the boll weevil was unconquered. Seeing both the great wealth and extreme poverty of the region impacted her for the rest of her life.

As one of four women at the University of Virginia Medical School, Rozelle then attended Johns Hopkins for additional training and practiced general medicine in Mississippi. She trained interns and residents and found help from local doctors. She began private practice in 1970 in Shreveport and was the only oncologist/hematologist there at the time. She worked at all the local hospitals, but ultimately became medical director at Schumpert Hospital, and head of the Department of Family Practice at LSU, all the while maintaining her private practice. Rozelle received many honors during her long career, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Shreveport Medical Society, and the Laureate Award for Contributions to Internal Medicine from the Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Physicians.

Rozelle witnessed the sadness and heartache in her field, but also experienced the bravery, selflessness, and faith of her patients, their families, and members of the community. Her niece, Liz, recalled how she took the loss of every patient to heart, as a deep personal loss. She was a lay reader and active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, visiting congregants in hospitals and nursing homes. After retiring in 1996, she led a busy, active life, always thankful for a lifetime of opportunities and wealth of friendships.

Rozelle was preceded in death by her mother, Ella Hahn McDonald; father, Aaron Hahn; brother, Robert Hahn, Sr.; and her partner and best friend of 50 years, Dr. Jean Hunter. She is survived by niece, Elizabeth Hahn (George Goldstein); nephews, Robert Hahn, Jr. (Theresa Krejci) and Matt Hahn; grandnephew, Aaron Ross (Taska Brooks); grandniece, Eva Ross; and great-grandniece, Rozelle Ross Brooks.