Hazel Bailey Thornton went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson at the age of 98. Hazel was born on February 24, 1922 in Holmes County, MS.
Above all things, Hazel loved her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and every day tried to be more like Him. She also loved her family and friends and was a Mighty Prayer Warrior for all of them. The Bible verse that exemplifies the life of Hazel is Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only on your own interests, but also the interests of others.” She always thought of others before herself.
Hazel graduated from Millsaps College in 1943 with degrees in English and Psychology. After a year of teaching Jr. High she went to Washington DC, where she worked at the Pentagon during WWII decoding secret messages. After the war ended, she came back to Mississippi and worked for the Red Cross, the Veterans Administration, Red Pest Control and as secretary for Briarwood UMC. After her 3rd child was born, she went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration and retired 20 years later in 1985.
In 1956 Hazel became a charter member of Briarwood United Methodist Church. She remained a very active member for the rest of her life and was the last living charter member of the church. Inspired by her 3rd daughter, Edith Lynn, who was born with Downs Syndrome, Hazel helped start The Mustard Seed and then later Son Valley, where Edie lived out the rest of her life. During this time Hazel was also involved with several other charities, such as The Little Red School House, Willowood Development Center, the March of Dimes, Bethlehem Center, etc. Her extensive volunteer work was recently recognized when she was selected as the Goodwill Volunteer of the Year.
Hazel is preceded in death by her parents, Vol and Ethel Bailey, her husband Watts Irving Thornton and her daughter Edith Lynn Thornton. She is survived by her 2 daughters Sarah Ethel Barton (Manly) and Catherine Anne Plunkett (Mickey): eight grandchildren, Cynthia Jill Chastant (Mark), Jeri Lynn Hudson (Doug), Jennifer Michelle Barton (Cain), Kennon Douglas Barton (Callie), Jacy Sunshine Buffington (Charlie), Serenity Rain Luckett, Aaron Colton Plunkett (Anwesa) and Brennan Bailey Holder (Austin); fifteen great grandchildren, Chase McCrory, Hailey Davis, Jordan and Austin Chastant, Jackson, Fisher and Rosie Roberds, Riot Barton, Briley and Braxton Buffington, Rhett and Eva Albright, Silas, Hazel and Flip Luckett.
Hazel will be sorely missed by her family and many friends, but is celebrating in Heaven, enjoying the presence of her Lord, and having a grand reunion with many that went before her. A Celebration Service in Hazel’s honor will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to SON Valley, 285 Commerce Park Drive, Ridgeland, MS 39157.
Please visit lakewoodfuneralhomes.com for online guestbook.