Hazel Marie (Guidry) Jacobs of Pocasset, 100, died peacefully in her sleep the afternoon of September 7, 2019.
Hazel was born in Sulphur, LA on July 27, 1919 to Camille Jean Joseph Guidry and Mary Alice (Toups) Guidry. She was predeceased by her husband, Saul David Jacobs of Boston, MA, her son, Robert Arnold Jacobs of Peabody, MA, and her brother, Wilson Joseph Guidry of Norco, LA.
After her mother died when she was just 5 years old, Hazel was raised by her aunt in rural, depression-era Louisiana. Following her graduation from high school in 1937, she went to work in a sugar refinery, filling sacks of sugar. She also ran the switchboard a couple of nights a week (an experience which would later prove instrumental during her military service).
Inspired to join the war effort with the outbreak of World War II, Hazel became a member of the U.S. Woman’s Army Corps (WACs). “It really wasn’t something women did in those days. I had never been outside of Louisiana. But I thought, ‘Hmm, I have a chance to contribute to the war effort and to see other places’,” she remembered.
Stationed in Washington D.C., Hazel was assigned to a classified position in the Pentagon. First, because of her earlier training in Louisiana, she worked a switchboard and listened in on high-level phone calls. Later, she was assigned to the Chief of Staff’s office where she was responsible for decoding top-secret messages in the Classified Message Center. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death, her WAC battalion was presented the honor of walking behind the President’s caisson during his funeral procession.
During her time at the Pentagon Hazel was introduced to a soldier – Saul David “Jake” Jacobs. The two hit it off but they were both soon discharged; Hazel returned to Louisiana and Jake to Boston. Hazel soon realized there were no opportunities in Louisiana, so she went back to, in a civilian capacity, her old job in Washington D.C.
Shortly thereafter Hazel went to visit a friend from the WACs who lived in Boston. And, Jake was waiting for her on the train platform. He asked her to marry him that night; she accepted and soon moved to Boston. There, the Catholic girl from rural Louisiana was warmly welcomed into her husband’s large, close-knit, urban, Jewish family … which she quickly made her own.
Living first in Boston, where she and Jake shared a small four-room apartment with their newborn son and his two sisters and brother, and then in Rockland, MA, Hazel and Jake raised their family together. Hazel embraced the roles of loving wife, mother, sister, and aunt. Sadly, Jake passed away in 1966 and Hazel moved back to Boston, working for the City of Boston for several years while continuing her devotion to her family and community.
Hazel enjoyed living at Cape Cod Senior Residences in Pocasset since 2011, grateful for the friends she made and the loving care she received there.
She leaves her son Alan Jacobs and his wife Jill Gottfried of Falmouth, her daughter-in-law Cheryl Jacobs of Peabody, MA, her grandchildren Mathias Jacobs of Falmouth and Stephanie and Nathaniel Jacobs of Peabody and Woburn, and numerous nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces, great-grandnephews, and great-grandnieces.
A graveside service will be at the Sharon Memorial Park.