A Brac life remembered: Hazel Azeith Scott

Hazel Azeith Scott

The following is condensed from the eulogy of Hazel Azeith Scott, who passed away on Nov. 2, 2015 at age 83, read at her funeral service.

Hazel Azeith, the third of four children born to Evans and Frederica McLean, was born on Sunday, July 31, 1932, at Spot Bay, Cayman Brac. Although Azeith was too young to remember for herself, her mother often told the story of when the 1932 Storm hit Cayman Brac. She was in her house with the wind howling and whipping outside. She looked out and saw a huge wave coming, she grabbed the baby and the other two children and ran as fast, and as far, as she could under the bluff. The wave crashed behind them just as they reached safety. Thus, the tone for Azeith’s life was set.

Azeith attended Spot Bay Primary School under the tutelage of Teacher Franklin and Teacher Spurgeon, and Teacher Oliver Hill. After completing school at 16, Azeith worked a variety of jobs in Cayman Brac before giving birth to her only child, Jason Corrin McLean. She then spent several years in Jamaica, where both of her sisters were living at the time. As her nieces and nephews were born, she became affectionately known as Aunt Zeet, or Deet Deet.

Upon her return to Cayman Brac, she procured a job at the Southern Cross Club, where she worked for a few years before taking a position as a nanny in Connecticut, USA. Not liking the cold weather, she returned home where she became janitor at the Spot Bay Primary School and Cayman Brac High School.

In 1968, her father passed away, and she took on the responsibility of making sure that her mother, son, nephews and nieces were provided for, and took on two more jobs. She worked at Tibmart during the day with Captain Keith Tibbetts and his wife Marjorie for 22 years, and at night was caretaker of Benny Eldemire for 20 years. She could often be seen riding her bicycle at night, at quite a speed, because she was afraid of the duppies.

Azeith subsequently met her future husband, Norman “Charlie” Scott Sr., and in 1972 she moved from Spot Bay to Watering Place where she resided with Charlie and his son Norman.

In 1975, her mother moved to Grand Cayman, so she was left to care for her two youngest nieces, Lilieth and Esther, who lived with her in Watering Place until 1977.

On May 28, 1991, Charlie passed away and for the first time, Azeith was living alone. She looked forward to school breaks when her grandchildren and grandnieces and nephews could spend time with her. She delighted in taking them on trips to Little Cayman where they swam, fished, picked whelks and visited the Eldemires.

Azeith continued working until 1998 as head janitor at Cayman Brac High School, but on her retirement, with her newfound freedom, she often traveled to Grand Cayman to spend time with family, and to the U.S., where she went with her sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Chelsea and Esmond Brown, to visit her other sister-in-law Sadie Tibbetts and brother-in-law Bergman Dilbert, in Inverness, Florida.

In 2004, Azeith gave her life to the Lord and was baptized by Pastor Davelee Tibbetts. This opened a new door for her. She was remembered as a faithful church member, choir leader and Sunday School teacher, and knew the bible well.

After falling and sustaining injuries, Azeith was no longer able to ride her bicycle, so her friends Elo Esteban and Jim and Sadie Dilbert would take her around to run errands. Brother Davelee Tibbetts then became her driver and often assisted her whenever she needed any maintenance done around the house.

As Azeith became less mobile, the phone became her lifeline and she developed a close friendship with Georgine and Sellie Lazzari and their family. She shared Christmas dinners and other special occasions with the extended family, and treated their grand children and great-granchildren like her own. Many family members helped around the house and with transportation.

With Ellen Lazzari, Azeith shared the love of history of the Royal Family, and also became known throughout Cayman Brac as the island’s historian. All one had to do was to mention a name and she would open her hands and count off on her fingers how this one was family to that one and so on, and often had people stopping by to discuss their family history with her.

One never visited Azeith and left empty-handed, be it fish, jam or cake. She delighted in supplying her son, nieces and nephews in Grand Cayman with fish, and always called Lilieth, in Florida, to let her know that she was saving kingfish and dolphin for her.

Local fishermen always knew to go to her to sell their fish, because if her freezer was not full, she was sure to buy their catch, and she was known for making her guests a big pot of coconut dinner.

Throughout the years, Deet Deet was the glue that held her family together. She was considered the “coconut telegraph” because she would call each family member and relay what was happening in the lives of the others, as well as what was newsworthy on Cayman Brac.

Lilieth stated, “I always enjoyed calling her because no matter where I was I could close my eyes and be back home. I could hear Radio Cayman in the background, hear the roosters crowing in the backyard, and get caught up on family and island news.”
Her nieces Julie and Terry called her daily, as did her nephew Mickey and her son Corrin.

As her knees got worse, her outings became less frequent until, finally, she was only going to church on Sunday mornings. Deet Deet enjoyed the time spent with Sister Sonia Christian, who drove her to and from church.

In June 2015, after dinner out with the Lazzari family, Deet Deet collapsed and was transported to Faith Hospital. She was sent home but was later sent to Grand Cayman for more tests. While there, she developed a blood clot in her leg and had to be admitted to the Cayman Islands Hospital. However, after a few weeks, she told the staff that she was tired of needles, tired of tests, the food had no taste, and she was sure that the nurses at Faith Hospital would do a much better job caring for her.

The doctors finally relented, and while her niece Esther tried to explain that it might take a few days to get everything arranged, Deet Deet insisted that with the help of the Lord, she was leaving the next day.

The family was indeed surprised when the phone call came the next day saying that she was being discharged and the air ambulance was on its way. True to her word, she was much more content at Faith Hospital and enjoyed the many visits from her friends and church family. Her doctors on Cayman Brac suspected liver cancer, advising that the most that could be done was to keep her as comfortable as possible.

Azeith passed away peacefully on Nov. 2, 2015, and is deeply missed by all.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Norman Scott, Sr.; her father, Evans McLean; her mother, Frederica McLean; brother, Burklyn McLean; sister, Joycelyn Tatum; and nephew, Phillip Tatum, Sr.

She is survived by son, Corrin McLean; stepson, Norman Scott Jr.; sister, Myrna Varela; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Chelsea and Esmond Brown; brother-in-law Bergman Dilbert; special nephew, Michael Tatum; special nieces, Teresa Hill, Juliet Tatum, Donna Scott, Angela Moncrieffe, Lilieth Templeton, and Esther Anderson; two grandchildren, Jason McLean and Shanna McLaren; two great grandchildren, Kai and Chloe McLean; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Thank you Deet Deet for the difference you made in our lives. May you rest in peace.

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