Hazel Rebecca Maxine Monk-Brown, 74, of Los Angeles and formerly of McNeil, passed away Tuesday, June 4 in Los Angeles.
Hazel was born January 9, 1945 to Prentis and Rossie Monk on a farm in McNeil. The youngest of 10, Hazel was also the tallest of her sisters standing at 5 feet, 11 inches. Even at a young age, Hazel was very spiritual. She graduated from McNeil High School in the early 1960s, at the height of social unrest.
She moved to Los Angeles where her two sisters, Rossie and Minnie, resided. She married George McClinton Brown in 1972. On April 16, 1976, she gave birth to her first son, Mark, then in 1977, she gave birth to a second son, Marlon. Hazel always wanted a baby girl and was determined to keep trying until her desire was fulfilled. In 1979, Hazel gave birth to her daughter, Miriam. George and Hazel were married for 34 years.
Hazel was an active member of the Voices of Judah, an award-winning choir at Greater Bethany Community Church in south Los Angeles, which later became the City of Refuge. She loved to sing and travel with the choir and was intentional in teaching her children about the things of God, often quoting Joshua 24:15 (NKJV), “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
In 1973, Hazel became a dental hygienist for the Veterans Administration. She was crazy about teeth and loved her job and colleagues (many whom were close friends up until her untimely passing). She continued there until 2001, after her involvement in a near-fatal car accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Even after such a tragedy, Hazel was resilient and remained strong in her faith.
She learned to navigate computers, attended church regularly and loved to crochet hats, which she sold to other residents at Seacrest Convalescent Home in San Pedro and The Earlwood in Torrance. She loved gardening and maintained a garden at all of her homes, including the facilities mentioned above.
Hazel almost dutifully became an advocate for other residents at these facilities, insisting on fair, dignified treatment and care for all who were unable to speak up for themselves. She was always very friendly and became quite independent after she was gifted an electric wheelchair by her close friends. She had a unique and admirable way of winning you over. Her touch and hugs were like no other.
The one thing everyone knew about Hazel is that she loved the Lord. She never wavered in her faith despite her less-than desirable circumstances. She prayed for others, tithed, gave to the less-fortunate and studied her Bible with diligence. Now, she has earned her wings and the privilege of rejoicing with her creator for eternity.
Hazel was preceded in death by her father, Prentis Monk, and her mother, Rossie Monk (Jones); sisters, Elsa Monk Johnson, Rossie McCravey and Ruby Pickens; brothers, Elijah Monk, David Monk and Elisha Monk; her son, Mark Brown; and stepson, Corey Brown; and her ex-husband, George M. Brown.
She is survived by her sister, Minnie Jackson (Monk) and brothers, Frank Monk and Ellis Monk; son, Marlon Brown and daughter, Miriam Brown; stepdaughters, Lisa Scott (Brown) and Kim Brown Chavous; grandchildren, Marques Brown, Jeremy Brown, Nikia Brown and Lauren Carmichael; step-grandchildren, Jonathan Brown, Deronn Scott and Alisa Scott; and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 22 at Old St. Matthew Garden in McNeil.
Burial will be under the direction of R.L. Reed Funeral Home LLC of Magnolia.
Eulogist will be Dr. David Monk.
There will be no public visitation.