(Anna) Hazel Williams went to her Savior, Jesus Christ, singing His praises (literally) on Thursday, June 13, 2019, at the age of 103.
Born April 1, 1916, in Blaine County Okla., she was the first child of Howard Basil and Mary Alice (Graves) Williams. Her mother died when she was 7 and she lived with neighbors caring for their toddler and doing farm chores until age 9, when her aunt sent for her to come live with her in Caldwell, Kansas. She graduated with honors from Caldwell High School in 1934 and worked in her aunt’s dress shop until she married Ray Orin Williams on Nov. 7, 1936. Shortly afterward, they moved to California, where she eventually worked for Shell Oil Co. until she became a mother and began building a family of faith, fun and amazing memories.
Along with her family, mom was a charter member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Garden Grove, Calif., and served actively for 54 years. She ran a successful preschool in the Williams home for 22 years and still received birthday and Christmas cards from former students and their parents up until her death.
Although the family took annual vacations each summer, after they became empty nesters, mom and dad traveled extensively, including a trip to the Holy Land. Their favorite places to visit were Alaska and in the autumn, the East Coast. Mom loved maps and would act as co-pilot. She also kept diaries of their travels – what they saw and new friends they made — and she would keep in touch with people through cards and letters resulting in friends all over the world.
During her life, mom rode in everything from a covered wagon to a jet airplane and never lost her amazement of all her life experiences. At the age of 92, she moved to Whidbey Island to be closer to family and drove until the age of 96.
Hazel was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Ray; mother Mary Williams; father Howard Williams; second mother Hazel Williams; brothers JP Williams, Roy Williams and Henry Williams; sisters Ruby Lankford and Lorine Cornell; nephews Ronnie Williams and Warren (Marilyn) Williams; and niece Esta Bringman. She is survived by her sister Alice Hampton; brother Bobby Williams (Nancy); sister-in-law Helen Williams; son Myron Williams (Karol); daughter Marilyn Blunk; grandchildren Kyra Himioben, Kym Duncan, Heather Pedraza, Cory Blunk and Chelsea Blunk; eight great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews who loved and adored their Aunt Hazel.
Thank you to the caregivers, nurses, kitchen staff, Alicia and all at Regency at Whidbey Memory Care who loved mom. She loved you too.
Mom’s gentle, steady faith encompassed all she met with humor, unconditional love and acceptance. Her love for her family and friends was not just words. Her faith was a faith of action and there was always a pot of coffee as well as a plethora of food items ready for any traveler who stopped by her home.
“She opened her arms to the poor and extended her hands to the needy… Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
We honor you, Mama. Keep the kettle hot and we will see you again.