Celebration of the Life of Hazel Rowe Toler When Kenneth Rowe met Mabel Hunter in Greenup County, Kentucky, they fell in love and married. To them were born Hazel Rowe on December 22, 1929. Later, Freda Rowe, her sister, was born. In search of work the Rowe family moved from Kentucky and finally settled in Newtown, West Virginia. Hazel attended junior high at Red Jacket and graduated high school from Magnolia High School at Matewan. During Hazel’s life her parents and sister gained their Heavenly Home before it was time for her to go. This is just the beginning of Hazel’s life story. Not long after graduation from high school, Hazel met the love of her life, Joe Toler. He was working in Matewan at W & E Chevrolet when they, too, fell in love and were married at the Gilbert Presbyterian Church manse on March 18, 1950. They were blessed by the Lord and became the parents of three children: Larry Joe (Patricia) of Bristol, Tennessee; Lu Ann Toler Browning (David) of Horsepen; and Mike (Denna) of Ben Creek. While living in Gilbert in the mid 1950’s, Hazel managed the Gilbert Drive-In. It was said by many she made the best milkshake ever! After the Gilbert High School moved to the outskirts of town, and the racetrack at Sprattsville closed, the Drive-In location was replaced by Mountain Chevrolet. That site has since been home to numerous eateries, and is often referred by many as where the Dairy Queen used to be. Around 1956, the Joe and Hazel Toler family moved to Ben Creek, where Hazel resided most of her adult life. Hazel loved Ben Creek and resided there a number of years even after the death of her beloved husband, Joe, in 2006. As she grew in years, and those years began taking their toll, she moved in with her daughter, LuAnn, on Horsepen where she resided until late on June 3, 2019. There is much more to the life of Hazel Rowe Toler than her birthday of December 22, 1929 and the day of her passing that is displayed on her tombstone. She did a lot of living between those dates. She lived a good life and leaves a story to tell. She served as a committee woman in local politics for several terms. Her eventual retirement came after nearly 20 years of service to Mingo County. She worked in the offices of the Sherriff, Assessor, and Clerk. Her favorite position was at the Gilbert Outpost where she loved working with Sherriff Deputies and volunteer firefighters. She was often referred to as the Stafford District connection to the Williamson Court House. Many times folks relied of her when they needed help with taxes, assessments, and even bail. Lots of times she was called upon for a ride to or from Williamson--or even asked to bring something from Williamson to someone who didn’t have means to get out. Hazel has experienced love for and from many friends--none more revered than the J.C. Lockard family: J.C. and especially, Blanche, and their children: Ronna and Rick Wilson, Barbara (Chico) and Rod Wallace, Jay and Tina Lockard. Of course, their children are included among those loved. Some have referred to Hazel as an elite member of the “B”- Team. Many of the things she loved started with the letter-B. She dearly loved the beach, babies, books, ball games, those blue uniforms of the Kentucky Wildcats, Blanche Lockard, Betty Mitchell, and she loved Ben Creek, where her earthly remains will reside after her celebration-of-life service at Mounts Funeral Home. In reading this one might get the impression that this is the end of the line for Hazel Toler. However, it certainly is not! She was ensured an eternal home in Heaven when she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She encourages all to make this same decision. She leaves a living legacy of children, their children, and their children’s children. Celebrating and continuing her blood line are grandchildren and great grandchildren. Among those are: Laura Beth Toler Blankenship (Walt) and their children Audrey Elizabeth and Levi Alexander, of Knoxville, TN., and Jonathan (Sarah) Toler of Nashville, TN.; Joe David Browning (Abbi) and son Ronald Joseph of Huntington, WV and Margaret Ann Browning Fitch (Roger) and their children Aiden and McKinley of Verner, WV; and Kristen Toler Dingess (Scotty) and son Ethan of Chapmanville, WV and Nathaniel (Michelle) Toler of Princeton, WV. Hazel has a special love her for nephews and nieces that include Kathy Varney Simpkins (Randy) and Kenney (Barbara) Varney. Thinking of them as her own are John and Irene Toler and sons Andy and Alan and their families; Larlis Toler and (former wife Linda) and children Eddie and Lisa; and Marcial and Margie Toler and sons Dwayne and Josh. Hazel’s life is more than dates on a tombstone. Hers is a life of meaning, a life of love, and a life of faith for a future. Friends and soon-to-be friends are invited to join the family from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM on Friday, June 7, 2019. The graduation ceremony will be offered by Pastor Arville Cline at 3:00 PM. Her earthly body will be carried to its final resting place by pallbearers Jonathan, Nathaniel, Andy, Alan, Dwayne, and Josh Toler; Walt Blankenship; Roger Fitch; Joe David Browning; and Scotty Dingess. The family would like to offer a very special thank you to caregivers: Tabatha Kennedy (the little Indian girl), Alice Murphy, Janet Gibson for their care, patience, kindness and love to our mother. Also a thank you to Lisa Caldwell, Diana Francis, and Audrey Smith.
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