September 24, 1946 - September 23, 2015
Hazel Lee Brown Rockeymoore went home to be with the Lord on September 23, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. A fourth generation Texan, Hazel Brown was born in Paducah, Texas on September 24, 1946 to entrepreneur Ira Brown and homemaker Pearlie Mae Brown. The youngest daughter of nine children, Hazel was very inquisitive and an avid reader early in life. She excelled academically and as an athlete and thespian, serving as a guard, forward and captain on Dunbar High School's championship women's basketball team, playing lead roles in Dunbar's annual school plays, and graduating as valedictorian of her senior class in 1964.
Hazel went on to attend Wayland Baptist University and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in physical education and biology with honors from Midwestern State University. A life-long lover of education, Hazel earned her Masters Degree in Human Resource Development from Western University later in life.
Hazel married her childhood sweetheart, Thomas Charles "T.C." Rockeymoore, in 1966 and gave birth to three children whom she considered their "crowning achievement." For twenty years, Hazel traveled with her young family throughout the United States and abroad as the spouse of an Air Force soldier. Hazel and Thomas celebrated 48 years of marriage on February 12, 2015.
Hazel infused her love of education into her career, serving both as a public school teacher and counselor. For 18 years she worked at Fort Sam Houston's Army Education Service Center where she counseled soldiers seeking to use their GI Bill benefits to pursue higher education. She was recognized for her friendly, effective, and efficient service in 2002 when she received Fort Sam Houston's Civilian of the Year award.
A spiritually grounded woman who loved the Lord with all her heart, Hazel was a faithful servant. Baptized at Antioch Baptist Church in Paducah, Texas at an early age, Hazel played the piano, sang in the choir, and was superb at recitation-delivering James Weldon Johnson's The Creation with zeal to the delight of Antioch's congregants.
For the past thirty years, Hazel has been an active member of San Antonio's Christian community first becoming a member of Grace First Baptist Church where she sang in the choir and then a member of Bethel A.M.E. church where she served as the Assistant Sunday School Teacher for Class Number One, sang in the Women's Chorus, participated in Voices of Praise, worked in the Christian Care ministry, and volunteered in the community outreach program.
Her Christian values inspired her passion for social justice and civic engagement. Hazel was a lifetime member of the NAACP, a member of the ACLU, a member of the Order of the Eastern Stars Gernell Smart Elite Chapter #79, and several other social clubs. A staunch Democrat, she tirelessly worked with the Bexar County Democratic Party in the 2008 campaign for the election of President Barack Obama. She also participated in demonstrations in support of the Affordable Care Act and numerous other protests to advance civil and human rights in Texas and around the country.
Hazel is survived by her loving husband, T.C.; three children: Mark Rockeymoore, San Marcos, TX, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings (Elijah), Baltimore, MD, and Meredith Rockeymoore Brooks (Jeremiah), Arlington, TX; seven grandchildren: Zora, Alysha, Noah, Jadyn, Zoe, Anaiah, and Joshua; and six siblings: Velma Terry, San Antonio, TX, Erma Mingo, San Diego, CA, Mignon Scott, Detroit, MI, Ira Brown, Jr., Denver, CO, Shirley Elder, Las Vegas, NV, and Larry E. Brown, Paducah, TX.
The family would like to extend a very special thanks to those who provided care to Hazel at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX and CTRC University of Texas Health Science Center, the START Center for Cancer Care, Methodist Hospital, and Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, all in San Antonio, TX.
The family would also like to thank all of our friends who visited and sent cards, flowers, and gifts. We extend a special thanks to our Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church family, who showed an outpouring of love and consideration. As Hazel would always say, "We love you."
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Bethel A.M.E. Church scholarship fund. Checks can be made payable to Bethel A.M.E. Church, subject line: Scholarship Fund, and mailed to 225 N. Swiss St., San Antonio, TX, 78202. Resolutions and/or letters of condolence can be sent to the same address.
A memorial homegoing celebration will be held on Saturday, October 3 at 10 a.m. at Bethel A.M.E. Church.
Published in San Antonio Express-News on Sep. 27, 2015.