Hazel Whitehead Ivey, 92, of Athens died peacefully on Sunday, June 12, at St. Mary’s Hospice House. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband of 63 years Marion Ivey, Sr.
Hazel was born in Athens on March 25, 1919, one of eight children of James F. and Floy E. Whitehead. She graduated from Athens High School in 1936 and attended the University of Georgia where she studied music with Dr. Hugh Hodgson.
An accomplished musician, Hazel was the first female member of the UGA Marching Band and played the piano and sang with Stu McGarity and Hux Jackson and their dance bands in the 1930’s and ‘40’s. In the 1950’s, Hazel was church organist at First Baptist Church. She was a member of American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) and published compositions for hand bells and choir including a special arrangement of her favorite hymn, “Amazing Grace”.
Hazel and Marion were charter members of Beech Haven Baptist Church. She served the Music Ministry as church pianist, church organist, music director, choir director and hand bell director, as well as member of the Sanctuary Choir for 52 years. Her church and her music were expressions of her deep and abiding faith in her Lord Jesus Christ.
An active citizen in Athens, her service to the community included Past President of the Athens General Hospital Auxiliary (now ARMC), Past President of the Bobbin Mill Garden Club, Board Member of Athens YWCO, and Member of Entre Nous Club.
Survivors include sons Marion Ivey, Jr. and wife Linda (Athens), Clark Ivey and wife Louise (Athens), Douglas Ivey and wife Angela (Watkinsville) and Richard Ivey and wife Jane (Athens) and daughter Kay Davis (Hull), sisters Martha Faw (Athens) and Carolyn Wheeler (Watkinsville); 16 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Wednesday, June 15 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM and 7:00 – 9:00 PM at Lord and Stephens Funeral Home (West). Home-Going Celebration will be held Thursday, June 16 at 10:00 AM in the sanctuary at Beech Haven Baptist Church, 2390 West Broad Street in Athens with Dr. Stewart Simms, Jr., and Dr. James N. Griffith officiating and the Revs. Curtis Murdock and Ron Hatchett as eulogists. Pall Bearers will be Hazel’s eight grandsons and Honorary Pall bearers will be members of the Sunshine Sunday School Class at Beech Haven. Burial will follow at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. Donations may be made in Hazel’s memory to the Music Ministry of Beech Haven Baptist Church.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the compassionate caregivers of Visiting Angels (Beatrice, Sherry, Lisa and Whitney) and the staff of St. Mary’s Hospice.
Lord and Stephens, WEST is in charge of arrangements.