Donald Edward Hazelwood


November 12, 1943

April 08, 2013

Heaven has a new angel

Sonnie was born in 1943 in White Plains, Westchester County, New York to Beulah Estelle Nee Flowers and Joseph Hazelwood. He lost both parents in infancy and grew up in foster care until age of 18 when he was kindly taken in by a schoolmate’s mother so he could finish high school, something he cites as his proudest achievement. In both high school and college, Sonnie excelled in athletics and he won the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1963 and he was the New York State champion in hurdles in 1964. Sonnie attended college on an athletic scholarship where he majored in Sociology until he enlisted in the United States Army and served in the elite “Screaming Eagles” Battalion as sergeant.

In 1971, three years after honorable discharge from the military service, Sonnie came to Canada and tried out for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and shortly, thereafter moved to Vancouver. Sonnie loved to run, watch sports, draw, write poetry, read his bible, listen to all kinds of music, especially jazz, and dance. As a youth, the dance floor would often clear when he entered on it. Sonnie had many interesting jobs all of which he poured his heart into as was his nature. Among his favorites was that of a popular and beloved D.J. where his New York style of music, amazing dance moves and warm, personality made the club a notable Vancouver attraction. Sonnie loved people and held a special rapport with children; he was a quiet, gentle man who consistently followed the precepts of the bible and lived by example. Once met, however briefly, Sonnie was always remembered.

Sonnie’s adoptive mom, Helene Hunter preceded him in death, and her children, his sibling survivors are Barbara Hawkins, Elaine Hunter, Oliver Hunter, two nephews, Timothy and Oris Hunter. He is survived by his special friend, Deborah Bouchard, her family, the staff and children at St. James School and a host of friends both in Canada and In New York. Rest in Peace, Dear Sonnie, you were the light of many people’s lives.

Special thanks to Dr. De Beer, V.J.H. nursing staff, and all other health care professionals over the past few years who took a special interest in Sonnie.

Services will be held on Friday, April 19 at 1:00 p.m. at St. James Church 2607-27 St., Vernon, B.C. phone 250-542-1276 and followed by a tea in the church basement.

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