IRVINGTON—Doris Chesley Hazard, 101, of Irvington died peacefully Friday, December 18, 2020, at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury (RWC). She was a member of this retirement community for 20 years, having a house in independent living for 16 years, then residing in assisted living and finally the health center.
She was the beloved daughter and only child of Arthur Edward and Florence Nickolaus Chesley of Jersey City, N.J.
Doris was predeceased by her devoted husband of 63 years, Donald Mercer Hazard; and one grandchild.
She is survived by her son, Donald C. Hazard (Stephanie) of Emory and daughter, Elizabeth H. Nolte (Jerome) of Cary, N.C.; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Doris enjoyed happy times playing the piano and, as a young girl with her mother on the violin, accompanied her father singing in his notable tenor voice. Before Doris’s marriage, she worked for five years in New York City in the library at the AT&T headquarters. During those years, her piano teacher arranged for Doris to meet the piano teacher’s cousin, Rhode Islander Don Hazard. Don and Doris’s storybook wedding was the beginning of a marriage where husband and wife both thrived.
As the mother of their two children, Doris was a creative homemaker, Sunday school teacher, den mother and Girl Scout leader. Don’s managerial positions took Doris from Bloomfield, N.J., to West Hartford, Conn.; Palm Beach, Fla.; Manhasset, N.Y.; Bethesda, Md., and S. Hadley, Mass.
In retirement, the Hazards moved to Manassas, where they lived for about 10 years. Doris found her place in the life of each new community. She loved gardening and decorating a new house was always fun for her. Doris played golf, traveled, loved reading and the PBS News Hour, held leadership positions in church women’s organizations and mission committees, kept detailed records of bird sightings, and enjoyed games and puzzles.
Then, not wanting to be a burden to their children, they moved to RWC where they loved the interaction with other seniors, the varied activities, entertainment and feeling of community. Doris continued to play bridge with great enjoyment into her late 90s.
When living in Bethesda in 1976, Doris joined the Daughters of the American Revolution and volunteered at the Seimes Microfilm Genealogical Center at DAR headquarters in Washington. After the couple’s move to S. Hadley, Doris became chapter regent and later served as Massachusetts State Registrar. While in Irvington, Doris was a member of Cobbs Hall Chapter, which often met at RWC. Doris attended many Continental Congress meetings in Washington and was very proud of her country and her membership in this patriotic organization.
Doris celebrated her children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays, their successes, and comforted them in their disappointments. She loved her extended family, helping to organize regular family reunions. She is remembered as a beautiful lady, a representative of the greatest generation, a wonderful person, pillar of her community, accomplished, with a kind and sweet disposition, respected and dearly loved—Mom and Grandma—we thank God for her wonderful life.
The family will hold a memorial service for Doris at a later date when it is safe to gather. She will be buried in the Hazard family plot in Middletown, R.I., next to her husband, Don.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury Foundation, 132 Lancaster Drive, Irvington VA 22480; Campbell Memorial Church, PO Box 18, Weems VA 22576; or the charity of your choice.