Ann Hazlett, age 88, died peacefully on December 12, 2019 in the Fayetteville home she built and shared with her family since 1972. Born and raised on the family farm in Mountain City, Tennessee, her parents were Verna and David Woodard. She grew up with her older sister June and her five younger brothers John, Albert (Boss), Baxter, Billy and Mac, of which she was predeceased by Baxter and Billy. According to her hand-written birth certificate, she was born Anna Pearl Woodard on May 14, 1931 but, consistent with her independent nature, she rejected Anna for Ann and celebrated May 15 as her birthday.
Graduating from high school at age 17, she set out immediately to experience the world and left the farm for Nashville with her best friend Nadine Blevins without a job or money. She quickly found work as a telephone operator and started her work-life journey. While in Nashville, she met and married an Army man from Rapid City, SD stationed at Ft. Campbell, Ky. when he satisfied her major condition—becoming an officer. John Hazlett and Ann were married on July 24, 1953 in Omaha by John’s father (a Salvation Army minister) and there began a 66-year marriage that endured until her passing. Two sons were born of the marriage, Rick in 1955 and Gary in 1957.
When John was stationed at various bases during his 25-year military career, Ann found jobs and raised the boys. Her initial jobs included bank teller for the Scottish Bank and librarian at the Main Library on Fort Bragg in the 1960s. During her child raising years, Ann was the perfect mother for her boys, encouraging them to be good students and to play sports. On the athletic front, she talked Ft. Bragg into letting the Cottonade neighborhood have a little league team that played in the on-base league. When the base threatened to kick the team out of the league, she made husband John become the league president to prevent it. She recruited the team’s coaches from soldiers checking out books at the library and, one season, fired the coach in mid-season for poor performance. When John was assigned to Germany in 1967, Ann learned to snow ski. She became such a favorite of the ski instructors at Berchtesgaden that, in one memorable slalom race, she was disqualified for picking up a slalom pole, but the instructors felt so bad for her she was awarded the newly created “Best Dressed Skier” award!
After returning to Fayetteville from Germany in 1970, Ann found her true calling as a real estate agent. As a pioneer of what are now called “latch-key kids”, she charged her children with becoming self-sufficient while she perfected the craft of a realtor. After the boys left the home in the 70s, her business talents flourished, and she consistently was one of the top real estate agents in the Cumberland County area for the next 30 years. With her unwavering commitment to her clients and the belief she could find a house for anyone, she brokered hundreds of homes over the next 35 years to any serious buyer. Not surprisingly, many of her clients became repeat clients and personal friends. She was known during those years as the realtor who would out-hustle the competition and work night and day for her clients.
Continuing her flair for fashion developed on the ski slopes, she always dressed for the job in the most modern and classy clothes. She became an excellent ballroom dancer and won awards in many state and local competitions.
During her life, Ann was an talented gardener, who specialized in geraniums, and a voracious collector of limited edition holiday plates.
Christmas was her favorite holiday and she was known for her fabulous Christmas parties.
She never forgot her good friends and became an avid traveler with her family and long-time friends. With her loyal girlfriends (usually Nadine, Jan Tesh and Roseanne Hartman), she went all over the world from Norway, England and Germany to China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Ann never forgot her eastern Tennessee roots and made the family Christmas Eve celebration in Mountain City at her sister June’s home for 60+ years. She had plans for many other travels until she encountered Alzheimer’s in her late 70s. She fought the good fight for over 10 years.
Ann is survived by husband John and her two boys, Rick Hazlett of Charlotte, NC and Gary Hazlett of Durham, NC as well as Rick’s wife Barbara and Gary’s wife Heather. Her two grandchildren through Rick are Katie Hazlett and Will Hazlett and her two grandchildren through Gary are Lee Hazlett and Grant Hazlett. She has one great-grandchild, Lily Hazlett, who is Will’s daughter.
The family would like to thank the many people who have loved and cared for her during her life, especially the caregivers from Home Instead and the staffs of K&W Cafeteria, Captain Jerry’s Seafood and the Ft. Bragg mess halls for the care and support over these last years.
A service celebrating Ann’s life will be held at Jernigan Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC at 1 pm on Saturday, December 21, 2019. Burial will follow at Sandhills Veterans Cemetery, 8220 Bragg Blvd, Ft. Bragg, NC at noon on Monday, December 23, 2019. All friends are encouraged to join the family for the service.
Memorials can be sent in her name to Heritage Hall Theatre, P.O. Box 86, Mountain City, Tennessee 37683.
Online condolences may be left at http://www.jerniganwarren.com
Funeral arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301
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