Omer Jerome "Jerry" Hanna passed away Saturday, December 4, 2021 in Abilene, Texas.
Jerry, or "OJ" as he was also known, was born October 30, 1939 in Beaumont, Texas to Omer Hugh Hanna and Irma Barnett Hanna.
Jerry had a life long love of cars and racing. He enjoyed a long career working in various aspects and levels of racing, including Carroll Shelby Cobra Race team, John Mecom, Jr.'s Indy team and Jim Hall's Chaparral Racing Team. During this time he also raced his own car, the Corvette Grand Sport 001, which he purchased from Roger Penske.
Jerry also worked for McLaren Racing. This team won both the Can-Am Championship and the Indianapolis 500. With McLaren he was a member of the race crew and tested fabricators and engines. He also worked on the Formula 1 car.
In 1976 Jerry worked with the John Greenwood Corvette Team at LaMans, France in the 24 hour race.
Following LeMans, he went to Assemiestier Racing building and maintaining the cars as well as acting as crew chief.
In 1982 Jerry went to Kent Racing where he worked on the Toyota Project as team manager, doing logistics and scheduling. In 1984 the project was transferred to the AAR-Dan Gurney team and Jerry went with it. He was the team's crew chief and remained with Dan Gurney until 1986.
Moving to Cayucos, California in 1995, Jerry started Grand Sport Motors doing vintage car restoration and prototype work. Jerry belonged to VARA, the Vintage Automobile Racing Association, based in Los Angeles.
In addition to his vast experience in the racing industry, Jerry has been involved in a variety of other projects, such as rating the environmental control systems on the Command Module and the LEM used in the NASA moon shots. He has also built, modified (car preparation and special effects) and driven cars for commercials including working with celebrities such as Paul Newman and Michael Jackson.
Jerry is preceded in death by his parents and his son, Jerry Jr. He is survived by his daughter, Stace Hanna Hitt and husband Kin of Richmond, Texas, his brother, John A. Hanna and wife Sherry of Fredericksburg, Texas, grandchildren Austin Hitt and wife Nicole of Richmond, Texas and Jordan Macha and husband Shelby of Richmond, Texas, as well as 4 great-grand children.
The family would like to thank Cody Davis and wife Stephanie for their friendship and help with Jerry over the years in Brownwood along with his special friends Zane and Earl and the car club in Brownwood.
There will be a graveside service for family in Silsbee, Texas on December 20, 2021.