Tributes have been paid by members of Crewkerne & District U3A to Hazel Axe, a former chairperson, who passed away peacefully at Crewkerne Hospital on July 9th aged 82 years. Hazel was the chair from 2003 to 2004 but had to step down because of ill health. She returned to take on the post again from 2009 to 2010 and ran skittles, scrabble and bridge groups for many years and at one time was the organisations welfare officer.
Val Warren, a former chairperson remembers that Hazel was always helping in the background. If a group couldn’t find a leader, Hazel would run it temporarily until they could. Hazel Axe was also a popular teacher at Maiden Beech School. Val said: “I remember being on Henhayes playing field with her, at an event where the U3A were exhibiting and lots of young people came up to her for a hug. She was well loved.” Val was taken to her first meeting of the Avalon network of U3As in South Somerset by Hazel. “She was a great supporter of the U3A,” said Val who is now the Avalon network co-ordinator.
Former chairperson Anne Bright said: “Hazel was a legend in the U3A. She was always encouraging and had patience with beginners. Thanks to her skillful teaching, they soon became proficient. What people remember is that her groups were full on bonhomie and banter.” The current chair of Crewkerne & District U3A, Sheila Seymour said: “To have been a long term group leader, committee member and chair and be so well thought of, she must have been quite a lady. My condolences to Hazel’s family and friends.” Funeral arrangements are being conducted by Stoodley & Son in Crewkerne, telephone number 01460 73229.