UNION — While surrounded by her family, Mrs. Hazel Smith Gregory, widow of Joe Gregory, passed away peacefully at age 75, at her home, Thursday, July 24, 2014 after a struggle with cancer.
Mrs. Gregory was born in Union, Sept. 18, 1938, a daughter of the late Claude P. Smith and Annie Belle Palmer Smith. She graduated from Union High School in 1958 and wore many hats in life — career woman, mother, sister, aunt, and friend. In each role, she poured out her heart and soul, giving to and touching the lives of many.
After a lifetime of service, Mrs. Gregory retired from Milliken and Co., where she was dedicated to and well-respected for her work in the textile industry at Lockhart and Monarch facilities.
As the oldest sister among 11 siblings, as well as a wife and mother of five, Mrs. Gregory was a pillar of strength and unity for her family. It was at her home where family always gathered on holidays to celebrate. She hosted standing-room only Christmas Eve crowds where she made sure not one person ever left without a gift. And if ever a person had a tolerance for noise and chaos, it was Hazel. Firecrackers, holiday tunes, the buzz of new toys, children laughing and some crying were all music to her ears, as long as it meant family was together.
Surrounded by children all her adult life, Hazel was always young at heart. She knew how to find simple joy in living and in giving. One of her favorite pastimes was also America's favorite; she loved baseball and her Atlanta Braves! Her passion for the game started years back through watching her own sons play countless hours in Little League, where she was always their biggest fan.
Selfless, humble, patient and kind, Hazel loved her Lord and was a faithful member of Fairforest Baptist Church.
She loved and was loved by many.
Surviving are one daughter, Donna Burris and husband Scottie; four sons, Joey Gregory and wife Sara Beth, Mike Gregory and wife Jennie, Paul Gregory and wife Wendy and Randy Gregory; two sisters, Linda Thomas and husband Preston, and Pearl Inman; four brothers, Carl Smith and wife Thelma, Gilbert Smith, Monroe Smith and wife Nancy and Kent Smith; 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren including Hallie Elizabeth Gregory, Kylie Grace Roberts and Jaxson Robert who were reared in the home; and a special friend, June Gregory.
She was predeceased by three brothers, William Charles Smith, L.J. Smith, and Harold Smith; and one sister Della Smith Moss.
The family is grateful for all the love and support offered during Mrs. Hazel's illness, with a special thank you to Blue Ridge Hospice, especially Lindsey Liner granddaughter, friends at Fairforest Baptist Church, Leroy Worthy and all of her neighbors for their special deeds of kindness.
Funeral services will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014 at Fairforest Baptist Church conducted by Rev. Allen Gregory, Rev. Randy Smith, and Rev. Shannon Faulkner.
Burial will be in the church cemetery.
Active pallbearers will be Lance Gregory, Nick Gregory, Brad Gregory, Adam Liner, Dennis Davis and Carl Inman.
The honorary escort will be staff of Blue Ridge Hospice, members of her Sunday School class, the Young at Heart group, Leroy Worth and June Gregory.
Visitation will be tonight Friday, July 25, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at Fairforest Baptist Church.
Memorials may be made to Fairforest Baptist Church, 1917 Jonesville Highway, Union, SC 29379.
The family will be at the home, 269 Old Pump Station Road, Union.
The S.R. Holcombe Funeral Home, Inc.