Hazel Blalock Viola, 81, died Saturday, October 20 at Duke University Hospital. She was born in Chatham County on September 17, 1937, to the late Bernard and Naner Sherron Blalock.
Hazel graduated from the Watts School of Nursing, where she was named a member of the Santa Filomena Honor Society. She served Duke as a surgical nurse for 38 years, including work in reconstructive, cardiothoracic and general surgery. Nursing was her calling, and she selflessly cared for thousands of seriously ill patients for nearly four decades. She was known by patients, coworkers, family and friends for her kindness, determination and loyalty. She cherished time with her friends and family, most especially her grandsons.
Hazel is survived by daughters Sheila Whitmeyer (Jim) of Wilmington, Mitzi Viola of Durham, and Karen Viola (Tim Hopper) of Chicago; beloved grandsons August, Emerson and Milo Hopper; sisters Clara Edwards (Ralph) of Selma, Doris O’Dell of Wake Forest, and Evelyn Sauerbier (John) of Durham; as well as many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service and interment will be held at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, November 14 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Durham. The family will receive friends at a reception following the service.
The Violas wish to acknowledge Hazel’s much loved operating-room family, her long-time Duke cardiology practitioner-friends, and the Duke Medicine Pavilion 7 West staff who served her with skill and compassion in the way she lovingly cared for so many others.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ronald McDonald House of Durham & Wake, 506 Alexander Ave, Durham, NC 27705.
The Viola family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham, NC. Online condoloences: www.hallwynne.com; select obits.