Hazel was born in Blue Ribbon, Oklahoma on August 31, 1928 to Lester and Alpha Denney. She was one of ten children who lived in a small house. Life was difficult for the Denneys and they worked hard to support their family. As soon as she was able, Hazel learned to work the fields with her father – and from that moment forward, Hazel was always working.
Shortly after finishing high-school, Hazel decided she wanted to live in the big city. She took all the money she had and she boarded a bus to Houston. She didn’t know anyone in Texas, but she was determined to make it on her own.
Eventually, Hazel made her way to Dallas, where she met Joseph Woodrow “J.W.” Marshall and was wed. Together, they had a beautiful daughter, Debra Louise. Although their relationship was filled with turmoil, J.W. was the “one and only” love of her life.
After their divorce, Hazel struck out again to make it on her own. With a little money borrowed from the bank and a whole lot of courage, Hazel decided to start up a delivery company. She bought a used pickup truck and started going through the phone book and calling companies to see if they’d like her to make a delivery. Hazel’s Hot Shot was born.
For the next thirty-five years, Hazel would grow her company while tending to her family. Hazel worked tirelessly while helping Debra to raise her son, Dustin Marshall. Eventually, Hazel was graced with three beautiful great-grandchildren, Lilianna Hazel, Jackson Garrett, and Hailey Grace.
Wherever Hazel went, she made friends. She had a magnetic personality that attracted everyone around her. Without seeking attention, she immediately became the center of every crowd. Hazel was a mentor to many, a friend to all, and the center of her family. She was a true gift to this world.
At the end of her life, Hazel was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. This too, she handled with dignity, grace, and courage. After a brief battle with this horrible disease, Hazel Marshall passed peacefully in her sleep at her home on July 2, 2013.
Hazel was immensely proud of her company – Hazel’s Hot Shot – and she was deeply honored to work with all her employees, vendors, and customers. She would be proud that her legacy – Hazel’s Hot Shot – will live on long after she is gone!
Hazel Marshall was posthumously honored by Southern Methodist University (SMU) with induction into their special collection known as the “Archive of the Women of the Southwest” which honors pioneering women in business, philanthropy, the arts, and civic affairs. She joins roughly ~150 other notable women including Lady Bird Johnson, Maya Angelou, Ann Richards, and Barbara Bush. The video below was created as a remembrance of Hazel’s life and was donated to the library in honor of her accomplishments. Roughly 20 former colleagues, friends and family members who knew her best share their memories of Hazel. (11 minutes, 32 seconds)