Hazel Gafford Stringer, 91, peacefully passed away Monday, March 5th. Hazel was born October 30, 1926, to parents Irma Browder Colvard and Charlie Colvard in Gordon, Texas. She left Gordon at the age of seventeen to marry Johnny Gafford of Lipan, Texas. She and Johnny contributed to the civilian workforce of World War II in the shipyards of Portland, Oregon. Hazel was a ship welder who they dubbed as “The Texas Kid”. At the conclusion of the war they returned to Texas residing in Mineral Wells and Lipan in their early years of marriage. They left for Brownsville to expand their business brokerage of bananas to the mid-west. Hazel and Johnny drove their single truck with loads of bananas to the mid-west from Brownsville, Texas. She maintained her knowledge of the U. S. highway system and her driving skills till late 2017. With the growth of his business they moved to Houston and many years later to Lubbock. With the death of her husband, Roy Stringer, in 1990, Hazel decided to return to Lipan Gafford Homeplace. It was here she threw her energies into the restoration of the 1916 Sears & Roebuck Craftsman style bungalow. With her extensive research and diligent historic renovation of the home, she applied and received a Texas Historic marker for the property. With completion of this project, she initiated an annual project of planting Texas Bluebonnets and Red Poppy’s to enhance her flower gardens. She believed in Lady Bird Johnson’s program of beautifying Texas roadways and worked daily in her flower gardens to execute an amazing display. Hazel was an avid U.S. and world traveler and knew the Texas roadways as if she were still driving that first truck. From her father taking her to Fort Worth stockyards at an early age, she retained her knowledge of maneuvering the streets of Ft. Worth and Dallas. She could also navigate Houston like a pro driver. Her professional career spanned from knowing the banana and tomato brokerage to careers in residential real estate, ladies fashions with Neiman Marcus, Houston, and the paper and printing business with Stringer Printing, Lubbock and Monarch Paper in Houston and Austin.
She is survived by her son, Gary Gafford and daughter, Johnnie Orr Bianchi. Her grandchildren are Jennie Orr De Lopez, Whitney Gafford, Hilary Beavis, Johnny Gafford, Bobby Jackson Gafford, and Christopher Charles Gafford. She is also Survived by her beloved nieces and nephews.
Pall bearers for her graveside service are Christopher, Johnny and Bobby Gafford and nephews, Kenneth Morrison and Terry Winn. Honorary Pall bearer is nephew Larry Gafford. Graveside Services are Saturday, Mach 10, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. at the New Gordon Cemetery with Brother Robert Gilliam officiating. Viewing and family visits are Friday, March 9, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Lacy Funeral Home, Stephenville, Texas.
The family sends heartfelt gratitude to the CCS Hospice Team of Dublin, Texas.