Just after celebrating her 93rd birthday on May 30th, Edith Hazel Dooley departed this earth to celebrate eternity. Born in 1907 in Bedias, Texas, to Ruby and W. D. Dooley, she was the oldest of the five surviving children and, therefore, assumed the role of, in her words, “the little nurse/babysitter/little mama” to her siblings.

Hazel graduated from the 10th grade in 1924 and began teaching school in 1926. Her teaching career began in Cross, Texas, where she simultaneously took courses at Sam Houston State Teachers’ College to earn her degree. After four years at Cross, she was elected to a position at Iola, TX in 1930 and remained there for 12 years. In the fall of 1942 she began teaching at Travis Elementary School in Bryan and taught there until she retired in 1972 after 46 years of public school education. During this period she earned her Masters Degree in Education. More importantly, through those 46 years she touched the lives of hundreds of children. She received countless letters and phone calls testifying to the impact she had made on individual lives, and on numerous occasions her lunch at a local cafeteria would be joyfully interrupted by one of her students as they relived the days at Travis Elementary. Truly, she demonstrated the slogan: To teach is to touch a life forever.

Hazel considered it a privilege not an obligation to help others, and this was never more evident than in her relationship with her mother. She lived with and cared for her mother up until her death in 1962. She was a living inspiration to her brothers and sister and her life a constant encouraging witness for all the nieces and nephews along with their spouses and children.

Auntie, as she was known to all of us, was an avid gardener. She loved the “outdoors” and spent countless hours watering and tending her garden. Auntie was not a stranger to “hard work” and whether it was “chopping” or “picking” cotton as a youngster or “hoeing” her flower garden as a senior citizen, each task was accomplished with the same level of perfection that was all so evident in her career as a teacher and educator.

But as important as the above activities were to Auntie in her life here on this earth, her relationship with a supreme and sovereign God was paramount. Auntie would often remind us of the “amazing” Grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and her daily prayers to a heavenly Father would begin and end with praise and thanksgiving. For those of us fortunate enough to hear one of these prayers suffice it to say that it was a witness which we will always cherish. Auntie would often take comfort in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” And for all of us that knew and loved her perhaps 2 Timothy 4:7-8 can best describe her witness and her reward – “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing”. She was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church.

Hazel Dooley was preceded in death by her beloved mother and father, Ruby and W. D. Dooley; her brothers Eric, Kyle, Pat, Ross, W. D. and Jim, and her sister Ruth. She is survived by her nieces Patricia Frye, Phyllis Holder, Suzy Kubecka, Jan Carter, Diana Hillhouse; her nephews, Richard Dooley, Kenny Dooley, Jim Dooley, and Jay Dooley and 18 grand nieces and nephews.

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