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Hazel Bennett Fillman

September 6, 1924 March 10, 2020
Hazel Bennett Fillman
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Obituary for Hazel Bennett Fillman

Hazel Elizabeth Fillman age 95, died Tuesday, March 10, 2020

 Hazel Elizabeth Fillman (nee Bennett) was born in Gnadenhutten, Ohio on September 6, 1924 to Mary Eva (nee Gehring) and John Emerson Bennett. She was the youngest of eight siblings: Mildred Patterson, Russell Emerson “Red” Bennett, Ralph Edward Bennett, Clyde Leroy Bennett, Eugene John “Poke” Bennett, Robert William “Bob” Bennett, and Paul Lewis Bennett.  After graduating from Gnadenhutten High School, Hazel attended Ohio University for a year, before marrying Paul William Fillman on July 5, 1943 in Centerville, Indiana. Though they were divorced in 1972, they remained friends throughout her life.  

Hazel, like so many others of the Greatest Generation, was a remarkable woman. She grew up enduring the hardships of the depression in Appalachian Ohio. During WWII, she worked in the Goodyear Airplane Factory in Akron Ohio scheduling the transportation of the new planes to their bases. She was well ahead of her time in many ways. Shortly after Hazel and Paul moved to Allendale, South Carolina in 1950, she started her own successful company as an insurance agent. She became a licensed airplane pilot in the 1960’s. Her love of antiques led her into the antique business and she spent many years traveling around the country to antique shows. She was known as “the flower lady” in Allendale because for a number of years she, single-handledly, bought, planted and maintained the flowers in the beds along Memorial Avenue, Gum Street, the Baptist Church, and the sign at Salkahatchie.  Hazel loved flowers, animals, and her children and grandchildren. She raised dogs, cats, a crow, a squirrel, a fox, several mockingbirds, and numerous other animals.

She was a life-long Methodist and she was very proud of membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. 

Hazel is survived by her son, Paul Edward “Eddie” Fillman (Loretta), and by her daughter, Dr. Jeanne Elizabeth Fillman-Richards (Dr. Storm Richards). She has three grandchildren: Paul Edward Fillman, Jr., Jodi DeShay Fillman (Alan), and Emerson Storm Fillman Richards. She also has three great-grandchildren: Gaia Hager Collins (Charlie) , Walker Fillman Collins, and Norah Elizabeth Fillman. 

Graveside Funeral Services were Thursday, March 12, 2020 at Swallow Savannah Cemetery with the Reverend George Hudson officiating. 

Keith Smith Funeral Service, 128 Water Street, Allendale, SC was in charge of arrangements.

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