Hazel was born in Roanoke Rapids on September 22, 1923, the second of nine children. She was a graduate of Roanoke Rapids High School in 1941 and Campbell University in 1969, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She had careers as a high school teacher, bookkeeper in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and ,most importantly, a homemaker raising three daughters. She was the wife of former Roanoke Rapids mayor and city councilman, the late R. Allan Welch to whom she was married for 62 years. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church. Hazel was a devoted wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and dear friend. She cherished her close relationships with her family as her greatest legacy.
Hazel was preceded in death by her parents Elmer and Annie Hancock, husband R. Allan Welch, siblings Doris Harrell, Calvin Hancock, Roland Hancock, Betty Sanderson, Thelma Kasper and Margaret Brown, brothers-in-law Grover Harrell, William Sanderson, Pete Kasper and Jerry Brown, Pender Lee Smith, nephews Michael Brown and David Smith and son-in-law Earl Yates.
She is survived by her daughters Linda Yates of Rockingham, NC, Nancy Crowe of Roanoke Rapids and Martha Allen (Lea) of Pantego, NC; Grandchildren Amy Yates Bryan (Rupert) of Raleigh, Allan Yates (Dawn) of Granite Falls, NC, Julie Allen Kolikas (Tommy) of Pantego, Jenny Allen Brown (Gary) of Washington, NC, Susan Yates McDonald (Eddie) of Hamlet, NC, Elizabeth Crowe Mitcham (Jason) of Charlotte, NC and Leamon Allen (Julianna) of Pantego; Great-grandchildren Sarah-Kathryn Bryan, Marlea Harris, Wesley Yates, Jenny Bryant Harris, Adrian Yates, Ethan McDonald, Luke Brown, Cooper McDonald, Lane Brown, Drew Mitcham, Harrison Allen, Carly McDonald, Lily Allen, Kate McDonald and Lauren Hazel Allen; sisters Alma Lanier of Roanoke Rapids and Joann Smith of Emporia; sister-in-law Peggy Hancock of Pittsboro, NC; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Roanoke Rapids on Tuesday, April 25th at 11:00 AM with a graveside service immediately following at Cedarwood Cemetery. The family will receive visitors at the Loy Memorial Building at the church at 10:00 AM preceding the service. The family invites all those who wish to visit Hazel to do so at Wrenn Clarke & Hagan Funeral home. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial gifts to Roanoke Rapids First Presbyterian Church.