Betty Hazen Paen, 81, Former Stamford Businesswoman

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Betty Hazen Paen Photo Credit: Contributed

RYE, N.Y. -- Betty Hazen Paen of Lenoir, N.C., formerly of Rye, died at Caldwell Memorial Hospital on Monday, Feb. 17, after a brief illness.

She was born to James W. and Louise B. Mercer in Athens, Ga., on May 3, 1932. After graduating from high school, she married Maynard Doran Hazen. They lived in many places before settling in Rye in 1967.

She married Anthony Joseph Paen in 1974. They lived in Rye until 1994, when they retired to Lenoir.

In addition to being a homemaker, Paen had an extensive and varied professional background. She was director of volunteer services and patient relations for United Hospital. In her role at United, she ran the Volunteer Services Department of more than 800 volunteers and received many corporate and community awards.

She was a member of the American Society of Directors of Volunteer Services, the New York State Association of Volunteer Services, and the National and New York State Hospice Associations. A founder and president of the NYSADVS, she served on many committees as well as on the national organization, the ASDVS. Previously, Paen was a division manager for Personnel Aides in Greenwich, and founded Executive Secretarial Placement Agency in Stamford.

She was active in community and volunteer affairs. She served on the board of the Twig Executive Committee and was a member of the Rye Historical Society, the Rye Youth Council, American Cancer Society, and The Port Chester Council of Community Services.

Before moving to Rye, she was a member of and president of the Wilmette, Ill., Junior Auxiliary of the Women’s Club, District Junior Director for the Illinois Federation of Women’s Clubs, and a board member and first vice president of the Wilmette Historical Society. After retiring, in her role as co-chair of the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Spring Antique Show, she received the 1996 Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service presented by Gov. Jim Hunt.

Paen will be remembered as a caring and loving mother, wife, and grandmother, and for her infectious enthusiasm, sense of humor, love of life, and her significant contributions to her community. She traveled extensively. She also loved her porch, her garden and flowers, and cooking.  She had her own radio cooking show and reviewed restaurants as well.

In addition to her loving husband, Tony, she is survived by five children: Larry Doran Hazen of Linville, N.C., Lynne Hazen Morell of Greenwich, Mimi Hazen Burke of Rye, Lisa Hazen Davies of Greenwich, and Amy Hazen Spaeth of Greenwich; two stepsons, Steven Michael Paen of Plantation, Florida, and Anthony James Paen of Ketchum, Idaho; fifteen grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her former husband, Maynard Doran Hazen of Athens, and a brother, General James Robert Mercer of Gainesville, Ga.

A memorial service will be held at Rye Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24.

Memorial contributions may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street, Lenoir, NC 28645.

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