Hazel Birnie

4 entries
  • "Sorry for your loss hope rest of family r doing well"
    - Susan Marsiglia
  • "Becky: what a beautiful lady! My sympathy to you and your..."
    - Edie Tracey
  • "Such a loving tribute to a very lovely lady. She will..."
    - Carol Coffman
  • "So sorry for your loss! Prayers to your family during this..."
    - Sue Ross
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Devoted Mother and Wife Hazel Gertrude Birnie, 93, died peacefully at Golden Crest Assisted Living on September 13, 2015. Formerly of The Villages in Lady Lake, Florida. She returned to Maryland in 2006 to live with her family. They fondly remember her for her unconditional love, encouragement and support. Known to her family as "Mom-Mom", she touched their lives with her kindness and generosity. In addition to her family, she loved the seashore, reading, crocheting, working in the yard, ballroom dancing and going on cruises. Mrs. Birnie was the wife of the late, Charles H. Birnie, who died in 2002. They were happily married for 55 years. She was born February 21, 1922 in Baltimore, the eldest daughter of four children. Small and very sickly as an infant, she almost died of wasting disease. Exhausting all options and unable to digest milk for nourishment, her mother resorted to alternative medicine. Barley was added to her milk formula that enabled her to survive. This resilience followed her through life. Although small in stature at 4' 10", she was strong-willed and fiercely independent. Raised in Pimlico during the depression, her father passed away in 1939 when she was a young teenager. With her mother (died 1956) in declining mental health and an older brother overseas in the service, she assumed the responsibility of her 2 younger siblings. Mrs. Birnie held various positions in industry. As a young adult, she worked at Shulte United until transferring to the Bendix Corporation in 1943 to support the war effort. It was there in 1946 while at Bendix, she met her husband, Charles, who had returned home from World War II, after 4 years of military service. After marriage in 1947, the couple resided in Baltimore. Parenthood and an extended family was immediately upon them, as they assumed responsibility for Hazel's younger brother of eleven years old and Charles's aunt, whom had raised him since he was orphaned at six. The extended family moved to Cape May, NJ a few years after the birth of their 1st child in 1951. They opened a Bed & Breakfast of which Mrs. Birnie was the proprietor. Her husband Charles continued working at Bendix in Baltimore and commuted on the weekends. Proving too much for a growing family, they returned to Woodlawn in 1956 preparing for the birth of their second child. Hazel's younger brother, now an adult, enlisted in the Air Force. Mrs. Birnie became a homemaker to raise her children and worked part-time at the elementary school her children attended. She supported her husband Charles and his career as an award winning photographer. Mrs. Birnie also provided care for her husband's aunt, whom had raised him, until she passed away in 1966. Upon returning to the workforce full-time in 1968, she worked at Webster Clothiers and Bendix Field Engineering. It was during that time, the Birnie's purchased property in the mountains of Pennsylvania and together began building a summer vacation home to hopefully live in retirement. This leisurely weekend project lasted during their boy's adolescence. The family thoroughly enjoyed this time together. It became a focal point for other family members and friends to visit. For their boy's, it also was a haven with friends to swim, hike, target shoot and ride dirt bikes. The family also enjoyed vacations back to Cape May to visit friends, New York City, trips out West and most destination points south. Charles and Hazel also enjoyed Caribbean cruises with close friends. Upon retirement in 1983, the allure of warm winters grew stronger than the mountains of Pennsylvania. In 1984, the couple purchased beachfront property in St. Augustine, FL and enjoyed winters there. In 1986, with both boys and their families residing in Carroll County, Mr. & Mrs. Birnie moved from Woodlawn to Westminster to be closer with them. They resided in Westminster until permanently moving to Florida in 1994. Mr. & Mrs. Birnie loved living in Florida and were inseparable. They especially enjoyed traveling and visits from their grandchildren. After her husband's death in 2002, Mrs. Birnie remained in Florida another 3 ½ years. She returned home frequently for extended visits with her family and permanently moved back to Maryland in 2006 at age 84. Upon returning to Maryland, she lived with her son's family in Hampstead. Health concerns moved her to Golden Crest Assisted Living in 2012, still close to her family. Being part of the family kept her spirits alive. She was always young at heart and willing to go anywhere. She never wanted to be a burden on anyone and was not. She never complained and will always be remembered as a loving mother putting others first. She is predeceased by her sister, Marian Goodrich of Pikesville, MD, brother, David Smelser of Jacksonville, FL, and brother Truman Smelser of Baltimore, MD. Surviving children are son Kenneth Birnie and wife Sharon of Finksburg, MD; son David Birnie and wife Lauren of Hampstead, MD; five grandchildren; Jeremy Birnie and wife Heather; Zachary Birnie and girlfriend Amy Wineke; Amy Schaeffer and husband Todd; Rebecca Birnie and boyfriend Derek Burrs, David Birnie II and girlfriend Gabriel Little; and three great-grandchildren Alaina Birnie, Colton and Logan Schaeffer and niece Louise Izat & husband Paul. Private services are to be held. Her body is to be cremated and buried in Woodlawn Cemetery alongside her husband, Charles, as she wished. Services are private.

Published in Carroll County Times on Sept. 16, 2015
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