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Hazel Jane West

LIBERTY COUNTY - Hazel Jane West, 94, of Liberty County, passed away Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Advent Christian Village in Dowling Park, Live Oak.

She was born on Jan. 6, 1923 in Liberty County, the daughter of Claude and Lizzie Whitehead.  She was married to William “Bill” Lafayette West on May 11, 1941 and  their union was blessed with two children, a daughter, Billie Jane West and a son, Duane Lafayette West. Both children were born at military bases, Billie in Key West and Duane in Charleston.  Billie has two daughters, Renay Cummings (husband Craig and daughters Savannah and Reagan) and Rachelle Fowler (husband Dave, daughter Rebekah and sons Drake and Matthew).  Duane had five sons, Judd West (wife Jackie, son Justin and daughter Jordan), Travis West, Chad West, Eric West and Austin West (wife Kaitlyn and son Wyatt); also her two sisters, Myrtice Peavy and Follette Chester (Jimmy).

She was preceded in death by her husband, “Bill” (1994) and her son Duane (2012); her brothers, C.W. Whitehead and Aubrey Whitehead; and sisters, Katherine “Tack” Faircloth, Myra Finch, Lynette “Coot” Sanders and Norma Nell Faircloth.

She grew up Liberty County, where she loved to fish on the Ochlockonee River. Her family home is the oldest home there. Her family heritage is long running, with family roads and a lake named after them.

Both of her children were born during world WWII. Her husband Bill was in the Coast Guard and was stationed at various beach locations throughout the South, patrolling the beaches on horseback to watch for Japanese submarines.  At one time, Hazel worked in an airplane factory in Jacksonville.

She and Bill had lived in several places, but finally settled in Madison.  She had a beauty shop in Greenville for many years.  She was also very artistic and enjoyed many hobbies over the years.  She was an avid gardener and had a greenhouse in their beautiful yard, and she loved aquariums. When her gardening hobby flourished she turned all of her aquariums into terrariums.  She enjoyed crocheting and could look at any finished piece and crochet it from memory.

She took a short course in pottery at the junior college in Madison and became interested in ceramics, bought a kiln, molds and paint and made many beautiful pieces that family members enjoy to this day.  As her husband grew older and his health was failing, she moved back “home”, which is where her heart had always been. She lived alone for many years after his death.  She was a faithful wife and loved her grandchildren and family very much.  She will be greatly missed.

Graveside services were held Tuesday, May 9 at 11 a.m. ET at Good Hope Cemetery.

Bevis Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Submit condolences online at

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May 10th, 2017



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