August 24, 1935 - January 2, 2021
Hazel Smith, born as, Hazel Vanderhorst, was the first born of 7 to Richard and Thelma Vanderhorst on August 24, 1935 in Georgetown, SC. Hazel fell asleep in death at her home in Middletown, Delaware on January 2, 2021. In her early stages of life, Hazel and her family moved from Georgetown, SC in search of planting their roots as a family. It wasn’t until the age of 18, when Hazel realized her true journey began when arriving in the Big Apple, commonly known as New York City. Hazel found her place as she began living in Brooklyn, NY. There, she and the love of her life, John Smith lovingly known as ‘Johnny Boot’ connected and became inseparable. The two love birds pronounced their love in a public declaration on May 28, 1960. As the years went by and their love grew, they decided to raise a blended family of five children. Lewis, Anthony, Sput, Jackie and Alton, the apples of their eyes.
As time progressed, her love of being a wife and mother grew immensely. She later became a faithful servant of Jehovah, always making it a priority. Hazel dedicated her life by water baptism on March 22, 1969, marking one of the most memorable moments in her life. All who came into contact with Hazel knew her identifying mark was not only love but her strong desire to please Jehovah by means of her fine conduct. She aided several family members and friends into the truth. Taking pride in knowing she was serving her God to the best of her ability. She would walk miles engaging in street witnessing while continuously auxiliary pioneering, giving the best she could, as arthritis in her fingers started to set in, it still didn’t stop her from writing many letters during the recent campaign in November. Hazel was known for all her amazing experiences in the ministry. She had fond memories of the circuit overseer visiting her several years back.
After 44 years of living in Brooklyn, NY, Hazel and John decided to plant their last set of roots in Delaware in 1997. She truly enjoyed the change of scenery and a new pace of life. With her gracious and warm personality, she was not only able to meet new friends but maintain lasting friendships that will be cherished forever. Winning them over with her amusing sense of humor, she recently expressed her deep desire to regain her pearly white smile in the new system. She was determined to keep a smile on all those she came in contact with.
Hazel became well known for her annual trips to visit her sisters, enjoying lasting laughs and giggles while playing Spades together. We all know they were very serious spade players, there was no talking while playing. Hazel was also an avid book reader and loved doing puzzles. Although many never understood, she loved to count birds, trucks, cars and airplanes while sitting at the window or, if she was riding in a car. She also loved watching Western movies and cooking shows. Although Hazel was filled with love and compassion, she also had a no-nonsense policy. In her words, “If you do not come correct, then don’t come at all.” She instituted a household policy of, do not look in her cooking pots, or do not come in the house without giving her a proper greeting.
Like any other parent, she did not like to see her children upset with one another. Family was everything to her especially her grandchildren. Hazel had a deep fondness of babysitting her grandchildren. She always looked for the best in people. When conflicts arouse, she made it her priority to encourage you to be the better person and resolve any conflicts amongst each other. Her strength and resilience were like no other, even in her most painful moments, she made it her goal to be strong for all who were around her. Her self-sacrificing spirit gave her enough energy to disguise her pain so that you would not have to worry about her. That strength, love, and passion will be missed.
Hazel is preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Thelma Vanderhorst; sons, Lewis Vanderhorst and Anthony Vanderhorst; and siblings Richard Vanderhorst Jr. and Emma Gilliard. She is survived by her loving husband of 60 years, John W. Smith; children, Osmund Smith (Sput), Gwendolyn (Jackie) and Lambert Brown, Jr.; son-in-law, Alton; daughter-in-law, Sandra Smith; grandchildren, Shante and Micah Chamberlain, Dianaja and Keith Nazario, Shian Smith, Deonjane Brown, Rihanna Smith and Taylor Smith; sisters, Thelma Conyers, Annabelle Vanderhorst, Eula Vanderhorst, Gloria and Andy Snipe (brother-in-law); as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.
Hazel was dearly loved by all and will be sorely missed.
A memorial service for family and friends will be live streamed on Zoom via meeting ID 899-3059-9355 and password 214173.