Funeral service for Hazel Lessley will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 17, 2019 at the MMS-Payne Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery. Dr. Ray Crawford will officiate. Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 1-8 p.m. with family greeting friends from 6-8 pm.
Hazel Lessley passed away on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 at the age of 99.
The daughter of Joe and Pearl Cash Tripp was born in Mill Creek, Oklahoma on July 27, 1919. She was one of eight children of a tenant farm family in southeast Oklahoma. There she and her family fought through the great depression and the devastating drought of the 1930's. During World War II, Hazel and her family moved to Roswell, New Mexico. At this point Hazel was old enough to begin working, and took a job at Walker Air Force Base. She was a true "Rosie the Riveter". It was also there that she met Sam Lessley. Sam was the mess sergeant where Hazel ate every day. They began dating and married on March 19, 1943. The newlywed couple continued living in Roswell, until Sam was discharged in November of 1946. The next move for Hazel and Sam, along with their first child Barbara Jean, was to Tahlequah, Oklahoma. There Hazel concentrated on raising her family, and welcomed her second child, Ronald Lee. Over the next several years Hazel and her family moved to places such as Oklahoma City, and Wichita, Kansas before settling in Claremore in the mid 1950's. There Hazel and Sam began a new chapter in their lives. Together they helped establish the Claremore Nursing Home. It remained a family owned and operated business, that was passed down to son and grandson until they sold the business in 2015.
Hazel had many talents. She was an accomplished seamstress. Sitting behind her little singer sewing machine, Hazel made things such as clothes, curtains, drapes, recital and prom dresses. She mastered the art of crocheting, making amazing bedspreads for many of her family and friends. She was an amazing cook. Her family always looked forward to her amazing chicken and dumplings, and her famous Jeff Davis pie. Then there was her love for gardening. She loved planting flowers, vegetables and even trees. The tender love and care she devoted to her gardening was on display every year when the dogwood trees began to bloom, for her pride and joy was a dogwood tree that she dug up and transplanted to her home. It became such a grand sight that people drove from all over town to see the tree in full bloom.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Pearl Tripp; husband Sam Lessley; siblings, Lyndon Tripp, Johanna Baker, Cletus Tripp, Jane Ashly, and Willa Dean Angirolis.
Survivors include daughter, Barbara Mason and husband Jack of Houston, GA; son, Ron Lessley and wife Meredith of Claremore; grandchildren, Bryan Mason and wife Lindsay of Auburn, GA, Matthew Mason and wife Sarah of Winston Salem, NC, and Brett Lessley and wife Jenny of Tulsa; great-grandchildren, Joshua, Rebekah, Ashley, Billie Gray and Jake Mason.
View and sign Hazel's online tribute at