Hazel Bolden Kearley • September 10, 2017
Hazel died 9/10/17 due to complications from treatment for MMP, a rare autoimmune disease diagnosed in April. She was predeceased by parents Willie McKinley and Emma Fields Bolden and brothers JD, Bill, Jim, Charlie and Willie who died in infancy. Left to cherish her memory are: husband of 59 years Roger; sons and their wives Phillip and Shelley and Steven and Melanie; daughters and their husbands Patricia Pursell and Mark and Pamela Powers and Robert; grandchildren Mark and Katherine Pursell, Miranda Kearley Holland and husband David, and Andrew and Emma Powers; great-granddaughter Ruby Mae Holland; and a host of well-loved extended family and dear friends.
Hazel was born and raised in the Evergreen, Alabama area, the youngest and only girl in her tight-knit family. She was well loved and grew to extend that love to all who knew her over her long life. She loved to read, something passed on to her kids, and excelled in school, graduating from Lyeffion as valedictorian class of 1956. She met and married Roger in 1958 and soon began her great adventure as mother to four children born over four years. She was very involved in her kids’ activities even while starting work at Gayfers at Town & Country Plaza. The delight of her life as her own children married and started families of their own was in becoming a grandmother, a role she deeply loved and cherished. She helped take care of her first grandchild Mark and, after retiring from Gayfers, helped raise all five of them. Her grandkids loved spending time together with ‘MaMa’ whose open heart and home helped them become the loving young people they are today. She was tickled pink to become a great-grandmother and so loved her Ruby Mae.
Hazel was an accomplished seamstress, cook, and artist. She loved wildlife, pond fishing in Evergreen, and watching and identifying birds. She loved flowers and truly had a green thumb, she could grow anything. She loved to travel and enjoyed all her trips with various family and friends over the years. She and Roger owned several conversion vans over the years to enable travel with family, especially the grandkids who really got a kick out of ‘MaMa’ driving the van. She was a genealogy buff, a passion she shared with son Steve, which eventually led to her documenting her great-grandfather William Riley Fields’ death at the battle of Peachtree Creek in the War Between the States. She was a very proud and active member in the UDC Pensacola Chapter 298 holding many offices and attending various functions over the years. She thoroughly enjoyed her time spent with her fellow members and friends, as well as with those in Southern Dames, Red Hat, and her Ladies Lunch Bunch.
She loved beautiful things and enjoyed collecting pink Miss America Depression glass. The ladies in the family would join her in attending the local annual glass show and all became collectors as well, and so enjoyed the time spent together. She had a knack for decorating and had excellent taste and looked forward to all holidays. She loved playing games, a favorite was Yahtzee, and had an affinity for the hippo borne out by her collection.
She was a Christian, born and raised Church of Christ, later attending various Baptist churches over the years. She had a deep and abiding faith and her Bible was always at hand. When health issues became an obstacle she and Roger enjoyed several television ministries. She was proud of nephew Ken Bolden, pastor and missionary in Africa; the donation suggestion is for his current mission in Monrovia, Liberia. She loved all her extended family including grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and in-laws as well as dear friends from her formative years through the present. She never met a stranger and could talk with ease to anyone. We celebrate her life today; we are better people for having had her in our lives. As no one is, she wasn’t perfect, but she was ours – our daughter and sister, cousin and aunt, wife and mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, in-law, dear friend. Her absence will be deeply felt. We know she will stay very interested in our welfare and will continue to watch over and pray for us until we unite with her once more in Heaven.
The family will receive friends at PENSACOLA MEMORIAL GARDENS FUNERAL HOME on Friday, September 15, 2017 beginning at 1:30 PM. The service will begin at 2:30 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Liberia Bible College, PO Box 488, Sheridan, AR 72150.