Hazel McDonald Hendricks

Hazel Hendricks shepherded many through college and life

Hazel Hendricks shepherded many through college and life

November 16, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail publishes "A Life Remembered." This continuing series takes a look back - through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others - at a member of the community who died recently. Today's "A Life Remembered" is about Hazel McDonald Hendricks, who died Nov. 6 at the age of 95. Her obituary was published in The Herald-Mail on Nov. 8.

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Some of Max Derr's earliest memories of Hazel McDonald Hendricks are of her outspoken nature.

Max recalled that his mother, whose nickname was "Tarts," once told him of running into her cousin and getting a rather pointed commentary on her hairdo.

"Hazel told Mom she must have just been to the beauty parlor because her head looked like a bushel basket," Max said.

Through the years, Max said he kept in sporadic touch with Hazel at family gatherings in Shepherdstown that he attended from Virginia, where he spent many of his earlier working years teaching school.


Ten years ago, Max returned to Shepherdstown, where he continues to teach. "I appreciated so much moving back here," he said. "I could ask Hazel questions then that I had about my mom."

Hazel died at her Shepherdstown home Nov. 6 at the age of 95.

During that final decade, Hazel and Max enjoyed getting together to eat out, to ride around to see Christmas decorations and to travel.

Hazel also spent a lot of time with Anna Mong, a woman who first got to know Hazel when she was caring for Hazel's parents many years ago.

"For the past 26 years, I have been with Hazel," Anna said.

Anna, 93, said she and Hazel were together until about three weeks before her death.

Hazel's failing health didn't keep her from visiting Anna in her new apartment in Martinsburg and sharing a meal.

"She came to make sure I had a nice place to live," Anna said.

Katie Begole remembers Hazel's kindness to her when she was a young, single Shepherd faculty member in the 1960s. That was before Katie met and married Bruce Begole, who taught geography there.

"Hazel and the other faculty members were very kind to me and included me in their activities," she said.

Once a week, Katie recalled, Hazel and her husband, Brown Hendricks, would take sheep and pigs from their farm to market in nearby Charles Town, W.Va., and Katie would go along for the ride.

"They would always guess how much the check would be for the stock and whoever was the closest would be treated at Dairy Queen," Katie said.

Katie was always a winner, since she got ice cream no matter who won. Now a widow, Katie lives in Michigan.

Franklin Stanley grew up in Hagerstown but he spent a lot of time in Shepherdstown in the summers. Although Hazel was 14 years his elder, she took the time to get to know the young boy.

"She brought me four books to read once, all about history, which I liked," Franklin said of his cousin.

When he was in the military in 1955, Franklin and his wife, Joyce, had their first child.

"I had washed and ironed all of our baby's diapers one day when Hazel came for a visit," Joyce said.

Always the home economist, Hazel chided Joyce for not washing the diapers first before putting them on the baby. She apparently saw them smooth and unwrinkled and jumped to that conclusion, Joyce said.

Single until she was 45, Hazel and her husband were together 25 years until he passed away in 1983. They had no children of their own.

"I was an acolyte at their wedding," Max said.

His mother, Margaret Stanley Derr, always talked about doing things with Hazel and their other cousins when they were young.

"Hazel and my mom used to love blowing bubbles out a window when they were children," Max said.

That closeness continued into their adult years as evidenced by Hazel coming home from college in Virginia to play the piano for Margaret's wedding at the home of Max's grandparents.

It was at that house along W.Va. 480 in Shepherdstown where Hazel spent many happy and carefree hours as a child, Max said.

"Hazel would sit on her grandparents' porch and watch the people traveling the dirt road to Morgan's Grove for the fair," Max said.

For many years, Hazel served on the board of directors of the Shepherd (College) Foundation, working closely with Monica Lingenfelter, executive vice president of the foundation.

"She was a very proper lady, ... very old school," Monica said.

Monica said she heard time and time again from Hazel's students that she was a gentle and kind teacher who set very high standards in her home economics department.

"Her students were like her children," Monica said.

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