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Hazel Fletcher

October 15, 1919 - April 13, 2018

Burial Date: April 15, 2018

Funeral Home Rose-Neath Coushatta

Cemetery

Service: 2:00 p.m. Sunday April 15 at Rose-Neath of Coushatta

Burial: Holly Springs Cemetery

Visitation: 1:00 p.m. until service time on Sunday April 15, 2018

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Coushatta – Hazel Norrid Fletcher, loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, born October 15, 1919, in the community of Methvin in Red River parish, died on April 13, 2018 in Monroe, Louisiana.

Visitation will be Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 1 p.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Coushatta.  Funeral services will be held Sunday, April 15, 2018, at 2 p.m. at the Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel in Coushatta, Louisiana, with the Rev. Wiley Cole officiating.  Burial will be in Holly Springs Cemetery.

Hazel was the daughter of James Franklin (Bud) and Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie) Norrid.  Her parents instilled in her the value of education at an early age, and she, in turn, instilled those values in thousands of students over the course of a 43-year teaching career in Louisiana and Texas.  She graduated from what was Louisiana Normal with a teaching certificate in 1938, obtained her B.A. in 1947, and her M.A. in Education in 1966, and went on to get her additional ‘+30’, all from Northwestern State.  She taught countless children how to read and was a teacher’s teacher.  She was no-nonsense in the classroom and relished the role she had in the lives of young people.  Recognizing her achievements both as a teacher and mentor, she was inducted into NSU’s Hall of Distinguished Educators on October 15, 2011 (her 92nd birthday), and she awed all in attendance with an off-the-cuff speech about her days at Northwestern and her career.  Her sense of humor and authenticity drew others to her.  We honor this woman whose life meant so much to so many.

On May 17, 1942, she married the love of her life, Milton Fletcher.  She stood by his side for 56 years until his death in 1998.  She would be the first to say that marriage and child-rearing are hard work, but so worth the effort.  Following Milton’s death, she continued to live independently at her home in the country outside of Coushatta, devoting time to her family, her church family at Bethel Baptist, and her interests in quilting, gardening and birding.  She was an avid reader and often had multiple books going at the same time.  Though she reluctantly moved to assisted living in Monroe in 2013, she acknowledged that life has many seasons and willingly embraced new friends and a different pace, all of which she enjoyed until her health began to decline in August 2017.  When asked a year ago why she thought she’d lived so long, she replied, “I’m not certain, but I suppose my lessons aren’t finished.”  Today, those lessons are complete, and the legacy of her love and influence will live on in her family, friends and many of her former students.  

Hazel was preceded in death by her husband, Milton Fletcher, parents, Bud and Lizzie Norrid, sister Ruth Norrid Womack, son-in-law Leonard Dalton, son-in-law Kenneth Bridges and grandson Todd Bridges.

She is survived by one son, Richard N. Fletcher of Bella Vista, Arkansas; daughters Millicent Bridges (Kenneth), and Carol Payzant (Bill) of Monroe, Louisiana, and Kaye Dalton (Len) of Campti, Louisiana, and one niece, Frances Richmond of Phoenix, Arizona.  She is also survived by three grandsons, Richard A. Bridges (Mary), Troy Custis, and Jeffrey Custis (Kristen), as well as great-grandsons Cody Bridges, Zachary Bridges, Micah Bridges, Hahn Bridges, Chey Bridges, Kain Custis, Jaxon Custis and one great-granddaughter, Lauren Custis.  She had many friends and former students who she considered family, and she dearly loved her church family at Bethel Baptist Church in her home community of Methvin.  

 

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