Larry Hazen passed away on July 28, 2023, in Cary, N.C., surrounded by loving family members and listening to his favorite band, The Beatles.
Born in Georgia, he was the oldest of Betty and Maynard Hazen’s five children.
His youth was spent in Chicago, and Rye, N.Y., where his entrepreneurial spirit was evident early. Among his various neighborhood ventures were a mobile lunch service and an egg delivery business. A standout athlete, he earned recognition on both the football field and in the swimming pool. His inherent competitiveness was a perfect match for his on-going love for golf, leading him to relish countless afternoons on the links alongside his friends.
After graduating from Rye High School, he attended Wake Forest University, where he met his future wife, Cylinda Shull. The first time he saw her, he immediately told his closest friend, “That’s the woman I’m going to marry.”
He graduated from college in 1974 and soon joined Broyhill Furniture Industries, where he would work for the next 23 years. He rose to the position of executive vice president and designed many popular lines of furniture, including Fontana, a line which, up to that point, sold more than any design in the history of the industry.
Larry and Cylinda Hazen moved to Lenoir, N.C., where they raised their three children.
After Mrs. Hazen’s early death in 1999, her husband, a longtime supporter of public education in their town, started a scholarship fund in her memory. The on-going fund provides grants to local teachers who want to create innovative classroom projects.
Mr. Hazen moved into entrepreneurial and consulting roles, working with various businesses in local, regional, and international contexts. He became an active member of his local Rotary club and spent as much time as he could with his grandchildren. He was a fixture of the Banner Elk community, where he lived for nearly two decades, participating in the annual Woolly Worm Festival and working with the Meals on Wheels program.
His final years were spent close to his two daughters and grandchildren in Cary, N.C. He entertained dozens of guests in his final weeks with his irreverent humor and indelible charm. He passed away peacefully listening to “Here Comes the Sun”, “Come Together”, and “Let it Be”.
He is survived by his three children, Heather (David) Parton, Melissa (Andrew) Carroll, and Ryan (Katherine) Hazen; his loving grandchildren, Asher, Carys, Doran, Reagan, and Grant; as well as his younger sisters, Lynne Morell, Mimi (Kevin) Burke, Lisa (Robert) Davies, and Amy (Rob) Spaeth.
A Celebration of Life Service will take place August 23 at 2 p.m. at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church in Cary, N.C.
Donations in Larry Hazen’s memory may be made to Feeding Avery Families or Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club, P.O. Drawer 1406, Cary, NC 27512.