Jean Haham

  • Born: April 25, 1936
  • Died: October 2, 2018
  • Location: Austin, Texas

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
Tel. (512) 452-8811

Tribute & Message From The Family

Jean Haham was born in Paris, France on April 25, 1936 to parents originally from Bessarabia (now part of Moldavia). During WWII he was one of the Hidden Children, separated from his parents, living with a farm family in Normandy. Over 70 years later, in 2016 Jean took pride in becoming an American citizen as he remembered the liberation of France and the Yankee soldiers rolling through on their tanks distributing chewing gum and chocolates.

Growing up in Paris after the war he studied Spanish grammar and literature, Latin and philology at the Sorbonne. He could quote Lope de Vega and Góngora, but Federico García Lorca remained his favorite Spanish poet. For most of his professional life he taught Spanish at a lycée in a suburb of Paris, with a semester at a lycée in Madrid. At the birth of his son Lemuel, Jean returned to the violin of his youth, playing in an amateur orchestra whose highlight performance was at Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral.

After retirement the two months a year in Austin soon turned into six, and he pursued his violin both in Austin and in Paris, along with pottery making and the study of Torah. Friends in Austin fondly remember his playing for several years with Los Klezmeros at the Triumph cafe. And friends in Paris considered him a staple of L'Orchestre Surmelin at the MJLF synagogue in Paris. Friends on both sides of the Atlantic loved his beautiful pottery.

In June he was exploring the museums of Valencia, Spain with gusto. Yet on October 2, 2018, surrounded by family and the music he loved, he succumbed to an illness that appeared only in August. The speed of his decline did not allow for the goodbyes many would like to have offered. Yet even in his last difficult weeks he found energy to enjoy and appreciate friends and family, see Amélie two more times, sip virgin margaritas while watching the sunset at Trudy's, and finish a book on 11th century French Talmudic commentator Rashi.

He was a joyful grandfather to Somaya and Kalina with a sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye. When asked by daughter Lila for words he would like to share in his last days, he said, 'Don't put on airs,' a cleaned up translation of the more colorful French original, 'Il ne faut pas péter plus haut que son cul.'

He is survived by his wife Connie, daughter Lila, son Lemuel, son-in-law Rodney Guerra and granddaughters Somaya Jimenez-Haham and Kalina Guerra-Haham.

There will be graveside services at CBI Cemetery #3 in Pflugerville on Friday, October 5 at 10:00 a.m.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Oh I'm so sorry. I will miss Jean. Such a special fellow!

Posted by Kim Mosley - Austin, TX - Friend   October 10, 2018

Having the greatest of neighbors when you don't have any family in Austin makes all the difference. Good people, that's what we lucked into by living near Jean. He showed us that a simple life with a great wife and fam. along with good crepes and classical music is all one needed to live fully. You all are in our prayers.

Posted by AC Loya - Austin - Family Friend   October 07, 2018

A sweet, kind, inquisitive, and caring person has left us, and will certainly be missed and remembered fondly. Deepest condolences to the family and friends.

Posted by Lea Isgur - Austin, TX - Friend   October 07, 2018


I am saddened to receive this news of Jean. I knew him through the Austin Chamber Music Center. I played in several ensembles with him. I very much admired his love for music. I will miss him very much.

Posted by Pat Yingst - Austin, TX - Friend   October 06, 2018


Dear Jean and Haham family. I am glad that you have been my friends over the course of 30+ years and I am also glad that I was able to go to the "traditional" 4th of July celebration with you and Jean, which seems to have just happened a few days ago. I will keep these fond memories with me and pray that in our next reunion, we can smile and toast to Jean's legacy.

I am sorry for this sudden loss. Let's celebrate Jean's life with us.

Posted by Eduardo Perez - Austin, TX - Family Friend   October 06, 2018

Dear Connie, I send you my most sincere condolences, you and your family are in my thoughts, I am deeply saddened by your loss.

Posted by Monique Trétout - Montrouge France   October 05, 2018

Family Album