Hazel Dolby Taff
Hazel Taff, wife, mom, grandmom, & great grandmom, winner of bridge, bowling, and golf championships in Tallahassee and around the country, widow of Angus Broward Taff, Sr. also of Tallahassee went to meet her Lord and her husband October 6. She was 88. For all of her life, her family, her church and bridge were her passions.
Mary Hazel Dolby was born March 6, 1925 in La Ceiba Honduras, second daughter of an Engineer born in Elmherst England, Harry Dolby, who, after completion of the Panama Canal, moved to La Ceiba to build the railroad through central America.Hazel first attended elementary school in Honduras where only Spanish was spoken. After the fifth grade, she was tutored at home by her mother, Almyra Carlyle Harrell of St. Marks, a college graduate and former school teacher in Woodville, Florida.
At twelve, Hazel came to Tallahassee and lived with an Aunt to attend high school before attending college.She entered Leon High School where her education was found to be very advanced and she skipped her high school years except for her senior year, whereby she graduated from Florida Demonstration School (now known as Florida High School) and entered Florida State College for Women at fourteen years of age. While at Florida High, her father passed away in LaCeiba and then her mother returned to St. Marks but also died a few months later from Cancer.Hazel and her sister were Orphaned, under the guard of her aunts, Sarah Posey and Hazel Walker (both nee Harrell).
While in Honduras, Hazel rode horses and played with her pets, a monkey, anteater, large buck deer, and mountain lion that her father brought home as a cub from the jungle. Hazel's pet McCaw, "Mac," was the first of the line of McCaws that are now at Goodwood Plantation in Tallahassee.
After turning sixteen during her second year of college, she eloped with her husband of fifty eight years Angus Broward Taff, Sr. of Tallahassee. Angus, a year later, enlisted in the Army Air Corps and fought in the South Pacific as a B-24 Bomber Pilot.
During the next twelve years, the family moved fourteen times with Hazel handling all of the moving, home acquisition, finances, and re-schooling and raising her children.In addition to mastering these areas of her life, and having her third son, she gained proficiency in her bridge and bowling, and now added golf to her list of proficiencies. While at Homestead, Florida, Hazel became president of the Officer's Wives Club. She won not only their bridge tournaments but golf as well.
When Angus was stationed in Saigon during the Vietnamese War, Hazel moved back to Tallahassee, where she again bowled, played Golf (Winning the Killearn Ladies Golf Tournament) and playing bridge.Angus returned and, now a colonel and Director of AirLift for Ninth Air Force (east of the Mississippi River), the couple with their youngest son, Steve, moved to Columbia, South Carolina until Angus retired and the family reestablished Tallahassee as their home.
Though the "moving" was over, Hazel was not through traveling.She and Angus visited Hawaii, London (to connect with her paternal family), Germany, Switzerland, Alaska, and various other countries and they took many cruises. They learned to snow ski in their 60's and traveled with the Tallahassee Ski Club to Aspen, Steamboat, Big Sky, Park City and other resorts to enjoy her snow skiing.Avid FSU fans and alumni, Hazel, went not only to all the local games but to every out of town football game for eight years.
In 1999 her beloved husband Angus passed after 58 years of marriage. Hazel then continued with her bridge, and worked as a "pink lady" volunteer for Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, even occasionally acting as a Spanish interpreter for the Hospital.
Hazel is survived by her sons: Broward (Babs) Taff, Jr,; and Steven (Angie) Taff,; eleven grandchildren: "Bo" Taff, (Amy); Kristin Taff Dolan (Dan); Stan Taff, Jr (Cindy); Michelle Taff Sawyer (Leonard); Charles; Adam C; Greg; Joshua, Lauren; Angus, and Susan; great grandchildren; Anna; Sarah; Abbigail; Libby Dolan; Stephanie; Kiana Noel; Hunter Taff-Ruiz; Madison and Haydon Sawyer.
Strong in her Christian beliefs, Hazel was a long time member of Killearn United Methodist Church. Funeral Services will be 2 pm Thursday, October 10, 2013 at KUMC. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to KUMC.
Beggs Funeral Home Apalachee
3322 Apalachee Parkway Tallahassee, FL 32311
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Oct. 8, 2013