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Hazel S. Collins

October 11, 1929 September 5, 2011
Hazel S. Collins
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Obituary for Hazel S. Collins
Lovingly Remembered

Hazel Southerland Collins began her journey on October 11, 1929 in Magnolia, South Carolina.  Born to William and Alberta Southerland, Hazel was the youngest of 6 children.  From an early age, she showed compassion to others, always looking for a way to make their day a little brighter.  Hazel had a vibrant childhood and thrived socially and academically in her close knit community.

Hazel received her early education in Duplin County public schools and graduated in 1945 from Duplin County Negro High School.  As the Salutatorian of her high school graduating class, Hazel encouraged excellence in her fellow classmates and challenged them to "rise above the tyranny of ready made thinking and strike out for themselves into the unknown".  Following graduation, Hazel attended North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, NC.

It was while living in Philadelphia that Hazel met US Army Capt. Walter H. Collins of Birmingham, AL.  Their love blossomed and in August 1954, they were married in Bad-Kreucznach, Germany.  To this union, 3 daughters were born, Adrienne(deceased), Jacqueline and Patricia rounding out the "Collins Girls" to five, with big sisters Barbara and Deloris.  Hazel and Walter's love and devotion endured for more tha 45 years until his passing in 2000.

As a full time homemaker, Hazel kept a busy schedule caring for her children and husband.  You could often find her volunteering at schools, selling AVON, cultivating her garden or in the kitchen make her famous apple dumplings or chocolate brownies.  Hazel enjoyed many other activities.  She was a member of the Quettes, auxiliary organization of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and in later years she became a basketball fan supporting and rooting for the Philadelphia 76ers.  As a proud grandmother of 5, Hazel looked forward to spending time with the "grands" and capturing many of those precious moments in pictures and videos.

Hazel was an active member of Sayers Memorial United Methodist Church for more than 50 years, where she served in numerous ministries.  Hazel combined her gift of service and her love for gardening and could often be found planting and caring for flowers at Sayers or anywhere someone needed gardening help.

In recent years, Hazel spent most of her time in Marietta, GA with her daughter, Jacqueline and her granddaughter Cydnee.  She became an integral part of the activities for all of the Track and Field events that her daughter presided over.  She helped prepare bib numbers, taking calls, answering questions, proofing reports, etc.   This relationship brought her a whole new set of friends and associates for whom she cooked, counseled and enjoyed being in their company.

Hazel battled Crohn's disease for more than 30 years.  Throughout her illness, she continued to be the "Hazel" that everyone had grown to love.  She was thoughtful, lovable, classy, strong, constant, beautiful and kind.  She was a fighter and fought Crohn's with all she had until she was called home to Glory on Monday, September 5, 2011.

Hazel is survived by her loving daughters, Jacqueline Collins of Marietta, GA, Patricia Brown of Eagan, MN; her extended daughter, Barbara J. Ellis and Deloris C. Chisley of Charlotte, NC.  Her wonderful grandchildren, Brian W. Ellis of Boston, MA, Alexis N. and Austin Brown of Eagan, MN, Christian Ross of Philadelphia and Cydnee A. Luther of Marietta, GA. Her son in law, Wayne Ellis, Wilbur Ross and W. Gregory Brown; a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and her four-legged partner, Jaylen.

There will be a viewing on Saturday, September 10th 1pm at Sayers Memorial UMC located at 6101 Catherine Street.  The funeral service will start at 2pm.  The interment will conclude on Monday, September 12th at Ivy Hill Cemetery Company.
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