Ruth Elizabeth Hazelwood | 98 | White Hall
Ruth Elizabeth (Woods) Hazelwood, 98, of White Hall, passed peacefully in her sleep at home, on Monday, Feb. 27, 2023, after a lengthy period of illness.
She was born at the Edwards Farm on Belltown Road on Oct. 28, 1924, and she had recently celebrated her 98th birthday with dear friends at her home in White Hall.
She was preceded in death by her beloved parents, George and Verna (Edwards) Woods; her brother, Paul Woods; her husband, Jack Hazelwood; her son, Victor Gordon Giberson; her daughter, Branwyn Lynn Giberson; and by two great-grandsons, Ronan Woods Humphrey and James Thomas Humphrey.
She is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth (Don) Pressler; her only grandchild, Dawn (James) Humphrey; as well as by two great-grandsons, Victor and Erick Humphrey; and by her loyal and devoted friend, Candy Osborne. She will be missed beyond measure.
Ruth was an extraordinary person. She was known to be lovely and gracious, kind and generous, impeccably stylish and quite talented and prolific at gardening. Above all else, she was an incredibly devoted mother and Gaga, who always placed her family’s needs above her own, and who delighted in all that her family did. Within her community, she was widely known as the lady in the hat who walked miles per day, even as recently as a few years ago. She was also renowned for her extensive gardens, both at her house in White Hall and at the family place near Hillview. Her favorite times were spent playing in the dirt and finding new and interesting flowers to plant. She feared no creature in her time outdoors.
Ruth grew up on her family’s farm, surrounded by peacocks. Growing up, she put her “Daddy” on a pedestal and she was immensely proud of his leadership and his focus on education, so much so that she left home to live in a boarding house in Carrollton to finish the final two years of high school, since Hillview’s school only went through 10th Grade. A graduate of MacMurray College, Ruth taught kindergarten to multiple generations from the same families during her 35 years of teaching at Eldred and then Carrollton. She was trained in Montessori education and believed in the concept of teaching the whole child. If she taught you to read and to skip (her favorites!), she remembered you forever and probably remembered which books you liked and who you talked to a little too much. While she was well-known to be a loving teacher, what people may not have known about her was that she was also incredibly tenacious, rather brave and pretty stubborn when she wanted to be. She truly carried the plucky spirit of her mother and her aunts while becoming very much a modern, independent woman who took care of herself. She was a force.
In Ruth’s years after retirement, she kept a very full calendar and devoted herself to many activities that were important to her. She was fortunate to remain in contact with many old friends and to make many new ones as well. She was a member of the Christ United Methodist Church in White Hall, where she looked forward to her women’s bible study each week. Among the many things that kept her busy, she was on the White Hall Public Library Board, spent countless hours working with the North Greene Garden Club to beautify their space on Main Street, and was a very long standing member of PEO and Delta Kappa Gamma, sororities celebrating women and teachers. She dearly loved her friends from her years spent teaching and relished the time that she was able to spend with them. In her later years, her great grandsons looked forward to giving her private music recitals at holidays and family gatherings and she loved to listen just as much, often happy to listen to numerous encores. She made life beautiful for her family.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, at Christ United Methodist Church in White Hall. The family will meet family and friends from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sunday at the church, preceding the service. Airsman-Hires Funeral Home in White Hall is in charge of arrangements. In Lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the North Greene Garden Club, through the funeral home.