OBITUARY: Hazel Gwendolyn (Bennett) Paiva, 92

KENNEBUNK, ME – Hazel Gwendolyn Paiva (Bennett), 92, passed away peacefully in Kennebunk on April 20, 2016.

Hazel grew up in Somerville, Mass. where she was a graduate of Somerville High School and an avid swimmer at the local YMCA. After high school she attended Tufts University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English. She always appreciated her higher education and was a long time donor to the school.

Hazel was a respected librarian at Wilmington High School in Massachusetts where she worked until retirement. She moved to Wells, Maine in the 1980’s and became one of the most recognizable people in the community. She loved living in her Moody neighborhood. She hosted pool parties, loved antiquing, and knew the entire staff at nearly every restaurant – especially Mike’s Clam Shack, Jake’s, and Stutesy’s Pub & Grill, where they always had her favorite drink waiting for her at the table on Friday night. She liked nothing more than dressing in her Sunday’s best with a mink, a blue wide-brimmed hat, and fashionable sunglasses to go out on the town and enjoy good company and conversation.

Hazel loved shopping, swimming in the pool, reading, watching the Celtics and Red Sox, and talking with her long-time and best friend Ginny Olson. She also dearly loved her sister, Mary Wilson, whose death preceded hers in 2004. The two were inseparable. Hazel loved animals, but none more than her beloved Shih Tzu, Valentine – a dog only its owner could love.

Although Hazel had a tough and stubborn exterior, she had a wonderful sense of humor and gentle soul. She was giving and kind. She will be missed by many. She leaves behind many nephews: Dan, John, Brian, and Scott Wilson, and their wives: Susan, Christine, and Jerilyn. Also, several great-nephews and nieces including Brock, Jesse, Keller, Erin, Claire, Jeffrey, Andrea, Jennifer, Lisa, Emily, Tyler, and Barrett. Keller, in particular, was near and dear to her heart. She will miss her close cousins Betty and Harold Hayes, not to mention the great-great nephews and nieces she came to know.

Hazel would want it known that she truly appreciated the great relationships and good times she had with her friends. Some of those most important to her were Ginny and John Olson, of Moody; Elizabeth Cassidy, of Sanford; Maggie and Jimmy Bolognese, of Moody; and her other neighbors: Jan, Terry, Ray, and Gloria. Her family would also like to sincerely thank those who cared for her at the Kennebunk Center for Health & Rehab.
Per Hazel’s wishes, there will be no formal services.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her name can be made to Tufts University English Department.

Hazel Gwendolyn (Bennett) Paiva

(NOTE: The above obituary via

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