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Chester County Press

Hazel Waltman, former co-owner of Sunset Park, dies at 94

07/17/2015 12:48PM ● By J. Chambless


Hazel Flanary Waltman, 94, of Jennersville, was born in 1920 to Elkanah Flanary and Tura Vesta Glass on a small farm outside Pennington Gap, Va. She was the youngest of 19 children. She graduated from Pennington Gap High School, where she was a star basketball player and centerfielder for the boys baseball team. Hazel moved to Delaware in 1939. She worked as an inspector in a defense plant in Wilmington during the day and as a musician at night. She played mandolin and sang with a well-known band, Shorty Woods and The North Carolina Ridge Runners. The band performed at Sunset Park in Jennersville, where she met and married Lawrence Waltman.

In later years, she also played mandolin and sang with Ola Belle Reed and Alec Campbell and the New River Gang. Hazel and Lawrence were co-owners of Sunset Park from 1957 to 1995, when it closed, and owners of a dairy farm for 50 years. She passed quietly on June 30, 2015, the day of their 72nd wedding anniversary, at home with Lawrence by her side. She was a member of the International Country Music Buyers Association, Country Music Association, and the Academy of Country Music.

Hazel is survived by her husband Lawrence; three children, Anita Hoopes Carr, Larry Waltman (Phyllis), and Donald Waltman (Donna); eight grandchildren, Brenda Durnan (Steve), Connie Race (Bill), Craig Waltman (Wendy), Trisha Costello (Ray), Courtney Wooters (Chris), Taryn Waltman, Casey Waltman, and Jennifer Waltman; and four great-grandchildren. Her service and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Lawrence and Hazel Waltman Scholarship Fund, C/O Avon Grove Scholarship Fund, PO BOX 266, West Grove PA 19390. Online condolences may be made by visiting

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