Hazel Luke McCormack died on June 24 at the Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, due to complications from a stroke. She was 93.

She was born on Dec. 29, 1923, in Douglas, Ga., to Oscar L. Luke Sr. and Odessa Tanner Luke. As the middle child, Hazel grew up on a large agricultural farm in Lax, Ga., with her two brothers, Aubrey L. Luke and Oscar L. Luke Jr. She spent much of her childhood working on the farm (picking cotton, feeding pigs and chickens), attending church, singing gospels and excelling at elementary and high school. As a young girl, her favorite pet was a pig named Charlotte that walked her to the school bus stop every morning and was there waiting for her when she got off of the bus every afternoon.

Hazel graduated at the top of her class from Coffee County High School in 1941 and earned an associate’s degree in business management in 1943 from South Georgia State College in Douglas, Ga. At college, she met and married U.S. Air Force First Lieut. Lemuel (Lee) H. McCormack in 1942, who was stationed as a pilot training instructor at the Douglas Army Airfield. During their 15 years of marriage, Hazel and Lemuel weathered Word War II and were fortunate to travel the world including countries like South Africa, Egypt, Italy, France, Australia, and West Germany.

After her divorce in 1956, Hazel moved to Baxley, Ga., where she successfully raised her daughter, Mary Jo, and youngest son, David, as a single parent. A woman successfully raising two children as a single parent in the 1950s was an accomplishment, especially in a small southern town like Baxley. In 1979, she moved to Martha’s Vineyard to be near her oldest son Lee and his family. Hazel was quickly adopted by the Island’s residents as their “Georgia peach” due to her southern accent, grace, vivacious personality and witty charm. She lived for 28 years at Havenside in Vineyard Haven, and was the longest-residing person there. Her favorite past time was beachcombing, where she would gather sea-washed stones and driftwood to decorate her garden. She happily lived her remaining years on the Island that she had grown to dearly love.

She worked as a business and office manager for private businesses, hospitals and visiting nurse organizations for over 35 years where she helped the business concerns flourish and prosper. It was a well-known fact that Hazel could “pinch a penny and make it squeal.” She was an expert seamstress, an avid golfer, liked to play bridge and loved gardening. Truly gifted with a green thumb, she was lauded by family, friends, neighbors and passersby for her beautiful floral gardens both in Georgia and on the Vineyard. She was truly selfless, always doing anything she could for others.

She stood just shy of five feet tall and was fond of saying,“I may be small, but I’m mighty!” Her favorite gospel song was Amazing Grace.

She was passionate and proud of her family.

She is survived by her children Lee H. McCormack, Mary Jo McCormack, and David L. McCormack and his wife Robin); grandchildren Devin McCormack, Meghan McCormack, Will L. Williams and his wife Katie, and Harrison L. Williams; great-grandchildren Raven McCormack, Isabella McCormack and Olivia McCormack; niece Karen (Luke) Jackson; and nephews Royal Luke, Dewayne Luke and Donnie Luke.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m. in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven, officiated by the Rev. Dr. Leo Christian.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.

Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and to share memories, stories and pictures.