Joseph Allen Hazlitt was in born in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, to John Piper Madden Hazlitt and Rebecca Blanche Hightower Hazlitt. (Known throughout his life as Joseph, Joe and J.A at different times). His older brother John was just a year ahead of him.
While still very young, Joe’s family lived in Oklahoma City, Enid, Walters, Hobart and Wichita, KS as their father worked in sales positions.
In 1931, the family moved to Garden City, KS, where John Hazlitt sold farm machinery and Joe’s younger sister, Rebecca Jane was born to the family. Her arrival forged lifelong bonds between the three siblings.
When the dustbowl began to impact farmers, sales in farm machinery sagged; banks were ordered to close, and after a time, the family relocated to Mount Vernon, Illinois in 1934. Following their parents to Illinois, Joe and his siblings rode the bus with their grandmother all the way from Pauls Valley to arrive at a farm house with a large yard, barn to play in and cows to milk.
By 1940, Hazlitt Heating Service had been formed by Joe’s father selling coal-stoked furnaces. Joe and his brother John were paid 20 cents an hour to clean furnaces and chimneys rising at 4:30 in the morning hours before school and on Saturdays.
Wanting to defend the country following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Joe’s father joined the Seabee’s in 1942 (Navy) and the family returned to Paul’s Valley.
Upon his graduation from Pauls Valley High School, Joe, followed his dad and joined the Navy along with his brother in 1944. Upon completing military service; he attended Oklahoma University in Norman; and received his degree in journalism.
He continued on to Southern Methodist University (SMU) to obtain a master’s degree in divinity. While attending SMU, he met Martha Anne Davis, walking her home from their bible study.
He and Martha Anne married May 24, 1953, and Joe entered the United Methodist ministry. During seminary, he began his pastoral duties in Thackerville, OK and the beginning of a long ministry that spanned 16 different church assignments across Oklahoma in the United Methodist Church Conference (UMCC).
Martha (Anne) was his support and team mate during these years as they did church work and raised their family in these communities. Joe was musical and played the piano by ear often leading singing with his family and others. His strong tenor voice and guitar was always appreciated by his church members, family and friends.
In service to the UMCC, the Hazlitts traveled across Oklahoma moving their family multiple times over their 29 years together.
They served church communities in Thackerville, Jones, Eric, Stillwell, Muskogee, Shattuck, Sayre, Dewey, St. Marks in Tulsa, Hinton, Red Rock and Bethel churches in a combined ministry; Marlow, and Choctaw.
During this span, Joe and Anne’s family grew to six children; with many church-related, school and community and family activities.
Joe participated in clergy travels over the years including state annual conferences, clergy gatherings, and international trips.
He was selected by the UMCC to participate in a ministerial study trip to England for an in-depth study of John Wesley in Epworth, England, where the origins of Methodism begun under Wesley’s vision. The trip was significant for the rest of Joe’s life. He organized and facilitated several trips to Israel as well to visit important sites in the Christian tradition.
When Anne was diagnosed with cancer in 1972, Joe, the older children and his mother, Blanche became her caretakers during the long illness until her death in 1982.
During this time, Joe and his family received outpourings of kindness and love from many in these church congregations who stepped in to help and exemplified love to the family.
After Anne’s death, he continued in church pastoral work serving at Skyline Ministry in Oklahoma City, and churches in Hydro, Wynnewood, and Waurika.
Joe retired from pastoral church care in 1991 and he and Juanice Brawley (Niece) married in August that same year; settling in Wynnewood in “the Pink House”.
They set about to many home improvements, construction projects and putting in a remarkable garden of daylilies that became a popular garden in Wynnewood.
Joe continued his practice of visiting local nursing home patients, shut-in elderly persons and assisted in the ongoing prison ministry at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington, OK.
As he had during his ministry, he would play his guitar, or autoharp, share scriptures and pray with the inmates.
For a time, he wrote an opinion column for the Pauls Valley Democrat on local and national current events, following in a family tradition after his father who had written for paper post-World War II.
His wife, Niece continued to support him an lovingly carred for him and their home as his health declined over the last few years.
Reverend Hazlitt leaves behind his wife Niece Hazlitt, Wynnewood; and his children: Angela (Tony) Hutchinson, Choteau; Ted Hazlitt, Pauls Valley; Cheryl Hazlitt (Tom Schreur), Fort Collins, CO; John (Kelly) Hazlitt, Cottonwood, AZ; along with 15 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Jane Oden and John Madden Hazlitt Jr; wife, Anne Hazlitt and granddaughter, Taylor Hazlitt Schreur.
His children recall fondly times of family devotions; singing; playing his guitar singing ballads to them at night along with Joes’s early recycling practice of writing notes or letters on any scrap of piece of paper at hand; and his good natiure at doing things for his children that weren’t particularly of his interest.
His love of world events; science; and outer space showed up in everything he did. He loved watching the news.
He found joy in reciting the story of John Wesley’s conversion in the creation of Methodism.
Joe cooked everything on the high setting leaving many family memories of burnt, but doughy pancakes, fried bologna and Cheerios cooked in grease.
J.A made every effort to meet people in every community; making it a regular practice to visit the coffee shop and understand local concerns. He was a man of service, a gentle and kind soul who gave generously and without thought of himself to others.
Donations in his memory can be made to Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries of Oklahoma, Inc., PO Box 1149, Oklahoma City, OK 73101; https://www.cjamm.org
Doris Lynn (Brown) Henderson, 86, was born to Harry and Alice Brown, September 10, 1933 in Keechi, Texas. She passed away on Thursday, September 3, surrounded by her family in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.
Doris grew up in the small community of Keechi with her 5 siblings; Selma, Harry Jr., Betty, Carolyn and Nell. They were a very close knit family and attended church pastored by her Uncle Tom.
She considered herself a tomboy as a child and loved playing outside with her friends and sisters. She graduated high school from nearby Buffalo, Texas and continued her education at Texas Christian University where she was a very proud Horned Frog. While attending college she met the love of her life, Cecil James Henderson, who was stationed at Carswell Air Force Base in Ft. Worth, Texas.
They were married on November 10, 1955. Doris graduated nursing school in 1956 and the couple moved to Ada, Oklahoma. It was there Doris began her nursing career at Valley View Hospital and gave birth to three daughters, each two years apart. Her passion for her career was exceeded only by her devotion to her family. She was a woman who could seemingly do it all. She juggled a demanding career, and cared for her husband, children and home with grace, skill, and a mountain of love that blessed the lives of all she touched.
As her husband’s career as a coach, teacher and school administrator took them on a number of moves around Oklahoma, she likewise found employment at a number of different medical institutions. Seven years after the birth of her third daughter, they added a baby boy to complete their family. She worked at Pauls Valley Hospital for 13 years in several different specialties including surgery and obstetrics. She loved helping deliver babies and teaching birthing classes to expectant parents. She changed jobs one final time to the Pauls Valley State School where she was director of nursing, staff development, inservice training and enumerable training programs. She retired in 1997 leaving a job she loved and a career’s worth of great friends and memories to reflect upon.
Doris had a wonderful curiosity about life and a great sense of humor. She was a great cook and specialized in making her husband and each of her children’s favorite meals. She was a life long and devoted church member and made sure her children were there every time the doors were open. She was a healer of wounds and a kisser of boo-boos.
She was a reader of bedtime stories, singer of lullabies and a prayer warrior. She was a beloved Memaw to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved to travel, read, play cards and games with her friends and above all, spend as much time with her family as possible. The world is better for having her and diminished for the loss of her. Her legacy is a life well lived and a lifetime of giving unconditional love.
Doris was preceded in death by her siblings, Selma, Harry Jr., Betty, and Carolyn.
Doris is survived by her immediate family - her sister, Nell Keen, loving husband, Cecil Henderson, her daughter Joni Grubitz and her twin sons, Sam and Wylie, her daughter Rebecca Anderson and her husband, Terry and their three children, Joshua, Drew and Hannah, her daughter, Carllan Lane and her husband, Tommy and their four sons, Brandon, Cody, Rickey and Griffin, her son Cecil II and his wife, Jessica and son Cooper and daughter Isabella. Doris has an additional blessing of 11 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to express their thanks to the many caretakers as well as friends and well wishers for their outpouring of love and support.
The service will be held at the Beaty Baptist Church, Thursday, September 10, at 2 p.m. with Bro. Gerald Biswell. Burial will be in the Antioch Cemetery under the direction of John W. Williams of Winans Funeral Home. You may send a condolence to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org