Obituary - Rose Hazzard, formerly of Eaglesfield
Last updated at 19:59, Thursday, 21 June 2012
Rose Hazzard, former deputy headteacher of Cockermouth’s Derwent School, has died aged 91.
Mrs Hazzard was deputy head and head of girls when the school opened in 1958 and devoted the next 24 years of her life to teaching there.
She was born in Workington to parents Jane Richardson and John McVennon and went to Birkdale School in Southport.
After leaving school Mrs Hazzard went to teacher training college in Manchester and qualified in 1942.
She studied at the Royal College of Music and graduated with distinction in 1943, specialising in the piano for which she won many prizes. She became a highly accomplished piano accompanist, performing at Whitehaven’s Rosehill Theatre and in Carlisle.
She took up teaching posts in and around Workington, and in 1958 was appointed deputy headteacher at Derwent School, now known as Cockermouth School, and had the task of getting the new school established.
She married the late Bill Hazzard in 1947 and the couple had two daughters, Jane and Geraldine.
The family lived at Ashfield House in Workington until 1964, when they moved to Papcastle following Mr Hazzard’s appointment as headteacher of St Joseph’s Primary School.
As well as her love of teaching and music, Mrs Hazzard was a keen sportswoman, playing tennis at county level.
She threw herself into the local community, training and conducting a number of choirs with several going on to county and regional competitions.
She helped pupils to find places at college or university and persuaded local employers to find them jobs.
Her son-in-law, James Stockdale, said: “Over her years at Derwent School she helped literally hundreds of children to get a good start in life and have a chance to fulfil their potential.
“Rose was also an incredible role model, combining a highly successful career with bringing up two daughters.
“Nevertheless, she would be the first to admit that her own mother had a vital role in making it all possible. This was at a time when successful career women were a relative novelty, not to say rarity.”
Mr Stockdale added that his mother-in-law had a powerful personality and, despite being only 5ft 1in, she could dominate the school assembly with ease.
She was a gracious host and could throw wonderful parties.
He said: “Pudding always seemed to be the most important course, made even more memorable by being potently alcoholic.
“She was a brilliant raconteur and could have a room full of people hanging on her every word as she regaled them with anecdotes and stories from all aspects of her life.”
One of his favourite memories was her disregard for rules especially those she considered petty and bureaucratic.
He added: “She was always busy and in a hurry so she habitually parked on double yellow lines around Cockermouth much to the dismay of the local police, many of whom she had taught and still had the ability to overawe.
“Reluctant to prosecute but embarrassed about doing nothing, the station inspector finally resolved the dilemma by providing her with her own parking spot in the police station yard.”
In 1968 she was involved in a car accident and lost the sight in one eye and suffered serious facial injuries, which required reconstructive surgery.
In 1979 her husband died from a heart attack. Following that, her health began to deteriorate and she suffered with heart problems.
Three years after her husband’s death she took early retirement and moved to Highbury, London, to be nearer her daughters and grandchildren who became the new focus of her life. She moved to Sussex in 1986 and played the organ there and organised church music.
During the 1990s she needed a triple heart bypass and a heart valve replacement operation, during which she suffered a cardiac arrest and a stroke.
She recovered and remained independent but increasingly relied on her two daughters and their children.
In 2006 her elder daughter Jane was diagnosed with cancer and died in June 2007.
Mrs Hazzard remained in her home for another two years before moving in with her other daughter Geraldine, but 18 months later Geraldine was diagnosed with lung cancer and died in February 2011.
Mr Stockdale added: “She was faced with having to deal with what no wife or mother should ever have to face, the loss not only of her husband but also both her daughters. Yet somehow she found the strength and fortitude to carry on.
“She replaced her interest in her pupils with her focus on her family and most particularly her grandchildren.”
Mrs Hazzard’s first great-grandchild Ivy was born three weeks ago and she managed to see pictures of her before she died on June 7 at Chelsea and Westminster hospital, following a short illness.
Mr Stockdale said: “Rose lived a long and for the most part wonderful life. She remained to the end an indomitable force and an example to us all.”
Her funeral took place at St Joseph’s Church on June 19 and she is survived by six grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
First published at 19:21, Thursday, 21 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I went to St Josephs when Bill was headmaster, and remember when he died, i had just gone up to Derwent school, so i remember Mrs Hazzard.It's a shame that she lost both her daughters recently, but at least she got to little Ivy before she died.
I am now 78 and remember Rose Hazzard very well, one of her first teaching post's must have been Newland's Secondary School, I think it was about 1948 that with our Choir master a Mr Stephan's that the school Choir won the cup that year, she was a great insprition to us all at that time, and I remember a very dedicated young teacher, she had a wonderful life I can see by what has been written about her, and will be long rememberd bu all that new her.