Norma Jean Hazzard Delaney
Mrs. Norma Jean Hazzard Delaney left this life on October 1, 2020 due to old age. She was born on July 17, 1929 in Nevada County, Arkansas, although she resided in Hempstead County, Hope, Arkansas for most of her life. Norma Jean was married to her love, Cecil Delaney, for 72 years until his death in 2019. Her only regret in dying was that she did not get to vote for Joe Biden.
She leaves behind two daughters, Cecilia Schellhase (Gary) and Carla Delaney: granddaughter Emily Fry, great-grandchildren Delaney Barber, Hayden Barber, great-great-grandson Wyatt Breazeale and grand dog Coco.
Norma Jean was the youngest of thirteen children born to Lura and James Hazzard. She finished high school in Hope and went to work for the First National Bank, helping to establish their loan department and working as a teller for over fifty years. She also worked at her husband’s business, Delaney’s Grocery, where the community came to love her.
Norma Jean’s love of people led her to become President of the B & PW club, Sunday school teacher at the United Methodist Church and activist in her beloved Al-Anon group. Her hobbies included travel, cooking, playing golf and doing impressions of Minnie Pearl. Most people would describe her as selfless, kind, honest, loving, smart, and a real character. To her daughters’ embarrassment, she once chased Arnold Palmer for his autograph as he played in a tournament in California. She got the autograph and a warm embrace.
She loved her family and friends, the Methodist Church, the Arkansas Razorbacks, pecan pie, Jordan Spieth, Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama.
Each summer she would drive her girls to see relatives in Arizona and California. She always commented, “These people don’t know about Hope, Arkansas.” As she always felt it was the best place in America to live.
Her life tragedies included her mom dying when she was nine years old, living with a blind and disabled father and the death of her son at ten days of age. However, she never wavered in her love of God and trust in His care of her.
A memorial will be planned when Biden is elected and the pandemic is under control. To honor her, memorials may be sent to the First United Methodist Church in Hope.