Mabel Louise Avant Hazzard-Martin 1924-2008

Mabel Louise Avant Hazzard-Martin was the youngest of two daughters and six sons of Isaac Avant and Mary Jane Dailey Avant. She was born in Webster, Florida, in 1924; two years after her parents had migrated from Oceda, South Carolina. In 1945, while attending Mary McLeod-Bethune College in St. Augustine, Florida, earning her Nursing Degree, Mabel met and later married Horace Hazzard, who was then stationed at a Navy Base close to her college. Her son, Gene, was born in Little Egypt, Florida, before they moved to Berkeley, California, in 1946. Four more children, Lavora, Donald, Langston and Leslie, were born to this union in California before her husband, Horace’s, death in 1954.
Through deep faith and a strong work ethic, Mabel raised her five young children alone with timely assistance from Mrs. Lottie Sibley, who lived nearby in Berkeley. In 1967, Mabel re-married to Rev. James C. Martin, with whom she lived happily until his death in 1983.
Mabel Louise Avant Hazzard-Martin was always active in her faith community, being a dedicated worker at Liberty Hill Baptist Church, where she was also a member of the choir. And, after her second marriage, she continued her dedicated service at the church her husband, Rev. James C. Martin, founded, the Greater St. James Baptist Church in Oakland.
Mabel Louise Avant Hazzard-Martin passed peacefully from this early abode on Wednesday, January 2, 2008, at her home from natural causes at the age of 83. Celebrating her long life are her two remaining brothers, Walter (91) and Sam (85), both of Center Hill, Florida, and her children, Leslie, Langston, Donald (Abdul), Lavora and a special son, Gene, who lived with and cared for her for the last quarter century (25 years). Also, a special granddaughter, Marla Bonner, Lavora’s daughter, who she helped raise as another “daughter”. In addition, two daughters-in-law, Ronda Hazzard, Langston’s wife, Zaynab Nasir, Donald (Abdul’s) wife, and twelve grandchildren. Mabel also leaves behind in Florida and South Carolina, too many cousins, nieces and nephews to count (over 100).
Mabel always placed others needs before her own; it was always what she could do for others, not what others could do for her. In affect, she was a totally selfless individual and always welcomed friends of her children with open arms and a warm and loving heart. She always made everyone feel as though they were part of the family.