On Monday, February 2, 2009, my great-aunt, Mrs. Hazel Koonce Harper, of Kinston, North Carolina passed away. She was 94 years old. I only have vague memories of meeting her, but I did have a chance to speak with her a couple of years ago about her family and she provided me with valuable information that I had not previously known.
Hazel was born August 24th, 1914 in Craven County, North Carolina, the daughter of my great-grandparents, Barfield Koonce and Josephine Holloway Koonce. Hazel’s youngest brother William was my paternal grandfather. Here is Hazel and the family in the 1920 census (Township 3, Craven County) where she was at the time the youngest enumerated
Hazel was the mother of 10 children and her online obituary at the Kinston Free Press newspaper indicates that she had 52 grandchildren.
My thoughts are with the family today as she is interred at St. John’s AME Zion Church in Fort Barnwell, the final resting place of her maternal grandmother, Polly Hood Holloway and aunt Priscilla Holloway Smith.
Update 2/14/09– Aunt Hazel was not interred at St. John’s AME, but instead at Oak Hill Cemetery.