Hazel Elizabeth Curtin Henry, recently of Concord, MA, passed away peacefully on Ash Wednesday, 6 March 2019, surrounded by her loving and devoted family. Born in Jersey City, NJ, and nurtured by her parents John Joseph Curtin and Hazel Farrell Curtin, aunt Helen Farrell, and younger brother Donald, Hazel saw a world of possibilities and she pursued these throughout her life with curiosity, joy, and vigor. Her family also instilled abiding values that Hazel embodied: integrity, respect, excellence, responsibility, and generosity. A lifelong communicant of the Catholic Church, Hazel drew strength from her faith and committed herself and her work to serve others guided by its social justice teachings.
Hazel achieved her dream of becoming a nurse by earning a BSN at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY. She later earned two Master’s degrees, one in Health Systems Management and one in Long Term Care Administration, from the Hartford Graduate Center while working full time and raising her family. Over a career that stretched nearly 50 years, Hazel dedicated herself to helping others and advancing the best practices in nursing and geriatrics, serving variously as an: ER nurse at Saint Vincent Medical Center in Greenwich Village; New York City Public Health Nurse; Instructor of Nursing for Jersey City Department of Education; Head Nurse, Director of Inservice Education, and Director of Nursing at various regional hospitals; Professor of Nursing and Assistant Director for Nursing Education at Tulane University where she helped to create the first hospital-based Nursing Program in the state of Louisiana; Director and Founder of the initial Certified Nursing Aid (CNA) Program in CT; Nurse Evaluator; Long Term Care Administrator; and Joint Commission Surveyor for both Long Term Care and Subacute facilities. Throughout her career and culminating in her serving as a Joint Commission Surveyor, Hazel sought to establish, nurture, and deliver the best practices in nursing care to her patients, colleagues, students, institutions, and medical profession.
After having first met at a family wedding in 1946, Hazel married Daniel Thomas Henry on 4 May 1957, and raised 4 children, Elizabeth, Daniel, Robert, and Maura. During 59 years, Hazel and Dan shared a love of reading, history, travel, fine food, classical music, and classic film. Hazel and Dan retired to Dataw Island, SC where they immersed themselves in the Lowcountry and pursued again their love of learning at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. Hazel was particularly active in the community, through her volunteer work with the ACE Basin project, Clemson Leadership Program, Lady’s Island Elementary School, Saint Peter’s Catholic Church, the Franciscan Center, Friends of Caroline Hospice, Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity, and the Democratic Party, among others. On Dataw, she enjoyed book club, Island Friends, water aerobics, Historic Dataw Foundation, gardening, and a classic Rob Roy and a good meal regularly at the Dataw Island Club with cherished friends. Together, Hazel and Dan were devoted subscribers to the Beaufort Symphony Orchestra and despite the long distance, Hazel maintained her membership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York while she lived in SC. Hazel pursued her lifelong love of travel with zeal as she and Dan ventured both near (across the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean) and far (England, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary II).
Hazel was predeceased by her parents, brother Donald, sister-in-law Ellen, aunt Helen, uncles Brother Timothy Curtin and Father Daniel Curtin, and husband Daniel T. Henry.
A funeral Mass and burial were held privately. Those who so desire may make donations in memory of Hazel to one of her favorite charities: the College of Mount Saint Vincent, 6301 Riverdale Avenue, Riverdale, New York 10471; The Franciscan Center, 85 Mattis Drive, Saint Helena Island, SC 29920; or the Alzheimer’s Association SC Chapter, 901 South Pine Street, lower level, Spartanburg, SC 29302.
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