Hazel was born December 7, 1926, in Flint, Michigan to the late Ernest T. Abney and Pearl (Laswell) Abney Gullett. She married the love of her life, Ernest Boyd Vanzant in 1950, and together they moved to New Paris.
Hazel attended Eastern Kentucky University and finished her bachelor’s degree at Miami University. She taught in one-room schools in Kentucky early in her career before teaching for several years at C.R. Coblentz Elementary in New Paris. She was a Life Member of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association, a member of the Preble County Retired Teachers Association, Preble County Farm Bureau, and always maintained her church membership at New Hope Baptist Church in Johnetta, Kentucky.
Hazel treasured time with family and enjoyed many trips to visit relatives in Kentucky. She traveled extensively, having been to all the states except Hawaii and most of the provinces in Canada. With her brother, she traveled all the Amtrak routes in the US and VIA Rail in Canada from Toronto to British Columbia. She saw polar bears in Hudson Bay, traveling by Tundra Buggy to view them. She enjoyed camping, boating, and fishing with family and was active in the daily operations of businesses she and her family created in the New Paris area. Whenever possible, she was outside working in the garden, enjoying the wildlife that frequented her bird feeders, or exploring the woods surrounding her home.
In addition to her parents, Hazel was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest “Boyd”; her step-father, K.C. Gullett; her son, Brent Alan Vanzant; her five infant siblings; her sisters, Delia Prather and Lillian Brynjegard; her daughter-in-law, Deborah Vanzant; and several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, with whom she was very close.
Hazel is survived by her son, Stephen (Sharon) Vanzant of New Paris; her daughter, Joanele (Charley) Hoce of West Manchester, Ohio; her brother, Ernest (Joyce) Abney of Titusville, Florida; her brother-in-law, OC Vanzant of New Paris; her grandchildren, CJ (Emily) Hoce, Shane Vanzant, and numerous step-grandchildren; her great granddaughter, Aria Hoce, and several step great-grandchildren. She also leaves many special nieces and nephews who were like children and grandchildren to her.
The family of Hazel Vanzant would like to acknowledge the compassionate care provided by staff of Vancrest in Eaton and the nurses and doctors of Reid Hospital.
A graveside service will take place at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at Spring Lawn Cemetery in New Paris with Rev. Eric Fee officiating.
Due to the current pandemic, a memorial service is being planned for a later date for those family and friends who are not comfortable attending at this time.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to L&M Products, 1407 N. Barron Street, Eaton, Ohio 45320, or Johnetta Cemetery’s Perpetual Care Fund.
Online condolences or Hugs-From-Home may be shared with the family by visiting www.tributefuneralhomes.com.