James A. Hazard, 77

Thu, 06/18/2020 - 5:30pm

James A. Hazard, 77, died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family on June 10, 2020. Jim, Jimmy, Dad, Grampa, Uncle Jimzabob was always the “life of the party” and knew how to work a room. He was a great conversationalist and could talk to anyone about anything.

He loved his wife, Alexis, and his three girls, Laurie, Kelly, and Jaymie, and his grandchildren fiercely. Jim was someone who loved people unconditionally. He accepted everyone no matter their station in life; he had a generous heart and would always forgive mistakes and missteps. When you were with Jim, you were truly in a “judgement free zone.”

Jim was born on May 19, 1943 and grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He was a talented athlete with an incredible work ethic. During the summers, he worked at Camp Westwood in Coventry, Rhode Island. He graduated from Tolman High School in 1961, where he was a varsity athlete in three sports: football, golf and swimming. He led the Tolman football team to a 10-0 season in 1960. Upon graduation, in 1961, he won the Best Student-Athlete Award.

Throughout his junior high, high school and college years, he was a caddy at Pawtucket Country Club, enabling him to finance his education at the University of Rhode Island where he earned his Bachelor’s (1965) and Master’s (1972) degrees. After graduation, Jim became a physical education teacher and a coach. In 1966, he led the Cranston East Swim team to a New England Championship. He spent his entire career in the Cranston School Department, working at Hugh B. Bain and Western Hills. In his last years, a kid at heart, combined with his love for children, brought him to teach at the elementary school level.

Jim spent his free time fishing, golfing, and swimming. He enjoyed trips with his friends, his Friday night card games, traveling to Vegas, and cruising with his wife. He loved summers on Block Island with his family where he could be found at one of the many watering holes and was known as the arm wrestling champ. Like his girls, he always had summer jobs: painter, ice cream shop owner, night watchman, and beer tap cleaner extraordinaire. In his later years, he spent time on the beach with his grandchildren and taught all of them to swim at the Neptune House pool. He relished “island tours” in his wife’s convertible Mustang. Every tour ended with a mudslide or two at one of his favorite spots on the island, where everyone knew (and loved) Mr. Haz.

Jim is survived by his wife of 55 years, Alexis of Warwick, R.I.; his daughters, Laurie Hazard, Kelly Hazard, and Jaymie Hazard of Warwick. He is survived by six grandchildren: James (his namesake), Devin, Zaleha, Grace, John (Jack), and Braden, and a great-grandchild, Abel Alexander. He is also survived by sister Meredith HazardMcAloon of Block Island.

The funeral and visitation will be private. A celebration of life will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org).

The family would also like to thank the health care workers at Continuum Hospice of Rhode Island who took great care of him.