Hazel Lillian Kemp Nickerson fell from heaven and took possession of her earthly body on July 23, 1950, in Mineral Wells, Texas (Palo Pinto County), where Buster Dave Kemp and Billie Claudine Nickerson were blessed with the assignment of being her parents. The two later united in holy matrimony on February 14, 1951.
Hazel attended Dunbar in Mineral Wells, Texas from elementary to high school. Due to two unexpected blessed events in her life, she later received her GED in 1968. She went on to pursue a career in hair care and received her Hair and Beauty Technician certification from Mineral Wells Beauty School. She built a reputation for cutting, curling, and restyling some of the most beautiful wigs fit for any diva! Hazel moved to Garland, Texas in the mid to late '70s. She eventually connected her passion for fashion when she began a career in retail with TJX Companies, owner of Ross Dress for Less Stores, Inc. During her 27 years of service, she earned many awards and accolades for her exceptional customer service skills, cash office accuracy, and front-end supervision. Hazel opened several Ross Dress For Less stores across the state of Texas and was promoted to TOP GUN status. At the time of her retirement, she was the Cash Office Manager.
At an early age, Hazel attended Bethel Baptist Church in Mineral Wells, Texas. She served as a Sunday School teacher and a member of the Youth Usher Board and Baptist Training Union (BTU). For the past 25 years, she worshipped at Hamilton Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. She actively participated in small bible study groups and successfully completed all levels of Disciple classes. She truly enjoyed studying and learning the Word of God. Hazel embraced the Word of God seeking deeper knowledge and understanding in all aspects of her life.
Humble, awesome, zesty, extraordinary, and loyal are just a few characteristics to describe Hazel.
To know Hazel, is to love Hazel. Affectionately regarded as, “Daughter”, “Sister”, “Niece”, “Cousin”, “Mama”, “Big Mama”, “Friend”, “Sue”, “Disco Lady”, “Willona Woods”, “Ms. Hazel”, “Mama Hazel”, “Buddy”, and “Gayle”, Hazel had a funny, quick and witty sense of humor. She was a scholar of African American history and was deemed the historian of Mineral Wells, Texas by her friends. Hazel was a Dallas Cowboys fan for life! She was an avid supporter of UNCF, NAACP, Women and Equal Rights, Women in Ministry, Breast Cancer Awareness, and The American Heart Association.
Hazel was preceded in death by her parents, Buster Dave Kemp and Billie Claudine Nickerson; stepfather, Arthur G. Cross; brother, Ronald Eugene Kemp; daughter-in-love, Leavetta Ann Kemp; and bonus grandson Shannon Jackson.
Those left to cherish precious memories include her two sons, David Earl Kemp of Providence Village, Texas, and Robert D'Wayne Kemp, Sr. (Janis) of Cross Roads, Texas; four grandsons whom she loved very much, Robert D. Kemp, Jr., Evan Halfacre-Weir, David Kemp, and Joseph Kemp; two bonus grandsons, Tony Perry, and Joey Perry (Brandi); five great-grandchildren of whom she was very proud, Dwayne Javari, Keanetta Breille Nicole, Jada Leanette, Joey Jermaine Jr., and Jackson Bryce; and adopted son, Tony DeAnthony. Also sharing in this immense loss are her siblings, Patsy Cross-Cole (Lonnie) of Grand Prairie, Texas; Arthur Cross, Jr., Victor Cross, Sr., and Rex Cross of Mineral Wells, Texas; Billy Cross of Dallas, Texas; and extended family which includes uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, in-loves, church family, dear friends, and loved ones, that join in celebrating her life and mourning her passing.