Hazel Jo Kelty, 90, of Clarksville, Texas died peacefully surrounded by her family on November 13, 2018. She was born November 15, 1927 in Clarksville, Texas to loving parents Nancy Carol and Jack David Parks. She attended Clarksville Schools graduating from Clarksville High School in 1945. She attended Paris Junior College and then worked in Dallas for a short period of time. She returned to Clarksville in 1949 to marry Dr. James F Kelty. She was the youngest of five siblings: Daphne Arnold, Jack Jr., Claude and Mary Scaff. They preceded her in death.
Hazel and Jimmy made their home in Clarksville, where Jimmy was in practice with his father, Ol' Doc Kelty. They reared four children, Kathy, Ann, Tim, and Janet. Although Hazel did the usual things a mother did back in the 50's and 60's- PTA, room mother, take all of us to piano, swimming lessons, art lessons, back and forth to band practice, football games, Brownie and Girl Scout leader, as well as Cub Scout leader - she was also an avid bridge player and golfer.
Hazel played a lot of bridge. Growing up the girls will tell you "Rule of thumb-do not bother them at the bridge table". Just recently, as Katheryn Underwood will attest- Hazel was still a good bridge player. I told my sisters that as I walked in on a game of bridge a little over a month ago that Katherine and mother were a part of -it was just like going back to our younger days when we would come in from school and bridge club would be going on. We would stick our heads into the living room and say "hi" and all the ladies playing would barley acknowledge you with this half fake smile and then ignore you! You knew you were dismissed, not to be seen again until the last car was gone! This bridge stuff was serious business and the only time we got dessert was at mother’s house! The bond between the "bridge club children" is still strong - with many attending the service today and many more we are still in contact with. Gary and Donna Allen, Neil, Dean and Thomas Wren, Betty and Pete Edwards, Mike, Cathy and Susan Simpson, Laurie, Dana and Cab Wolf, Jim and Ann Clark, Cheri Parker and brothers, Clare and James Vaughan, Linda Michaels, Marian Russell, Greg and Tom Copeland, John, James and Ted Lawson and the list goes on and on.
You see, there were so many bridge club children because our mothers were always substituting at other clubs. We are all grown now with families. Their clubs will always remain with us. It was the best of times and truly part of our story. We believe we are the last generation of Bridge Club Children.
As I said earlier, Hazel loved to play golf ....even going so far as Jimmy and Hazel moving to their cabin at North Lake Country Club where they lived for years. That way she could hop on her cart and get right on down to the course. She loved tournaments and was a good golfer. Some of Jimmy's and her best times were on the golf course with friends, Bobby Williams, Charles Bossier, Clarence Hearn, Murray Giles and others.
One of my favorite memories, as her youngest daughter, was playing golf with my mother every day while Keith's office was being remodeled. Kathy said we really never knew how many holes of golf she played a day. So......some of her best memories were on the golf course and some of my memories were driving the golf cart around, driving Jimmy' old blue truck, and swimming in the lake.
Hazel was always up for an adventure just like our father so it was only normal that this spirit would result in many different adventures. One being, that she ran several antique shops that she and her girls opened. With Janet and Kathy living out of town and Ann being the Mayor, this led to mother being in charge of the antique shops and she loved it except for Kathy's items never being priced. I mean never! She liked to say her girls bought it, staged it and left it with her. The adventure began with the Broadway Emporium in 1990 and ended with the close of Two Rivers Antiques in June of 2016.
Although we worried about mother having nothing to do when she retired from Jimmy's vet clinic we realize now our mother did a lot and had more than enough to do in spite of our worry.
Community Involvement is another chapter of Hazel Kelty's life. Hazel was one of the founding members of the PRIDE Association, along with Susan Hughston and the only president for 30 years. Some of PRIDE'S projects include painting the historic buildings on the square, with the assistance of the Historical Society, planting of crepe myrtles, along with the Crepe Myrtle Queen, Ruth Rhodes, Spring Fest, building of the brick planters, annual Halloween Carnival, sacking candy for the annual Christmas Parade, putting up the amazing Christmas lights, along with her son in law, Byron Rushing and serving on the hospitality committee for the annual bike tour.
One of the groups favorite projects was the Historic Creek Walk, with the placement of the historic TP Lake bridge across Delaware Creek, engineered by Jimmy Kelty and Jim Power as an added attraction.
For many years, it was a very familiar sight to see Hazel, Joanne Vaughan and Nancy Moore hauling many a water jug watering plants downtown during the summer months.
It has often been said that PRIDE was the catalyst for economic development and beautification on the square and downtown commercial district. In 1997 Hazel received the Honor and Appreciation Outstanding Leadership Award for her work with PRIDE.
Hazel was known as a Community Builder, dedicating numerous hours of service for her community. She received the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas Community Builders Award in 2000 and 2018, Hazel received her service pin for volunteering an impressive 25 years with the Red River County Chamber of Commerce and PRIDE.
Hazel was very active with the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce, serving as a board member for many years. She received the Citizen of the Year Award in 1992 and the George F Sunkle Award, in 1993 for outstanding community service. She was also a volunteer at the Chamber for many years.
Hazel and Jimmy both were named Paul Harris Fellows by the Rotary Foundation by Rotary International in 2009.
I cannot count how many bags of trash were picked up, gallons of water carried, phone calls made, events, meetings, boards and committees she attended over the years. She was a steward of the community, highly intelligent, gracious, tenacious, caring, classy and beautiful. Her love of PRIDE and its members and love for Clarksville will also be remembered. She served on the Clarksville Square Committee, Task Force Ordinance Committee, Beautification Committee, and Central Business/MainStreet Committee as well as the Merchants Association.
Her long time buddy, Ernest Witmer, would always say this is one committee that you will serve on as long as I do Hazel. We have no doubt they are serving together again on a committee.
Hazel was also a great actress. Jimmy was a member of the Clarksville Kiwanis Club for over 20 years. She, along with the other spouses, participated and were stars in various skits, cooked pancakes, dammed up Delaware Creek for a spaghetti supper with Gondola rides. Their most impressive work of art was their full length movie, Home FromThe Hills, Clarksville style. These skits were fun for both the families and the community and certainly made Clarksville an interesting place to live or visit.
Hazel continued to be very active until this past year when she started having health problems.
She was the perfect role model, mother, grandmother, and a huge fan of her 4 children,13 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
She always said... they seem to come in groups. Sam, James, Lane, Lorne, David and Amy are the eldest, followed by Brent, Sara and Emily, then John, Laura, Kate and Ellen. Great Grands Erica, Jordan, Dakota, Summer, Kelon, Alee, Landan, Carter, Mason, Henry, Addie, Wyatt and Jack.
Hazel grew up a Methodist but when she married Jimmy she started attending the Catholic Church. There were many good memories there. Including church dinners, Ladies Altar Society, plays and Easter egg hunts along with Midnight Mass. Very Fond memories of the Landry's and the Lowe's, the Vaughan clan, the Miesch family, the Holly's, Donovan's and Boltons, and the Potts family.
Hazel always loved the beautiful Historic First Presbyterian Church, the organ music, played by Jim Clark, and the Cantantas, directed by Claire Jesse. She loved her family, her community, friends and neighbors and living. Hazel lived life to the fullest and was truly beautiful!
If desired, memorial contributions in her name to the Pride Association at P.O. BOX 402, Clarksville, TX, 75426.
Memorial services are set for 2:00 p.m., Friday, November 16, 2018, at the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Raymond Judd and Jim Clark officiating. Private graveside services are scheduled for Tuesday, November 20, 2018, at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Clarksville Funeral Home.
Survivors include her husband, Dr. James F. Kelty, D.V.M.; daughters, Kathy Barber of Clarksville, the Honorable Mayor, Ann Rushing and husband, Bryon of Clarksville and Janet Green and husband, Keith of Paris; son, Tim Kelty; grandchildren, Loren Barber, Lane Barber, Sam Andrews, James Andrews, Emily Condiff, Sarah Norris, Kate Chadwick, Ellen Green, Brent Kelty, Laura Kelty Brown, John Kelty, David Rushing and Amy Anderson; great grandchildren, Landan Barber, Summer Andrews, Kelon Andrews, Alle Andrews, Carter Norris, Mason Norris, Henry Norris, Jack Norris and Wyatt Chadwick, Dakota Rushing and Jordon Rushing.
Memories and condolences may be added at www.clarksvillefuneralhome.com .