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SOUTH PORTLAND -- Grace Hazlett Gouzie, 88, died peacefully in her home on Sunday, March 18, 2012, with her beloved family by her side. Grace was born in Portland on June 30, 1923, the only child of J. Vernon and Constance Hyde Hazlett. She was a life-long resident of South Portland, graduating from South Portland High School in 1941 and attending and graduating from Gray's Business College. Following school, she went to work as an accounting clerk at Millet, Fish and Dresser.
During World War II, Grace worked as a cashier for Barton Associates at the South Portland Shipyard. During some of that time, she made monthly trips to Boston as part of her responsibilities. Following the war, she returned to work at Campbell, Payson and Noyes Insurance Company.
She married Philip J. Gouzie at St. Hyacinth Church in Westbrook on June 30, 1951. They made their home in South Portland and were the parents of one daughter, Constance. Following the birth of their daughter, she remained at home as a full-time mother and homemaker.
Exceptionally artistic, Grace enjoyed drawing and painting in her younger years. At the age of 16, she was chosen as a model for artist/sculptor Victor Kahill, who used the image of her beautiful eyes for a 1939 World's Fair Poster. She was also an extremely talented seamstress, designing and sewing much of her own and her daughter's clothing. She was a skillful knitter, avid reader, photographer and short story writer. Her most artistic medium was in the garden. Grace's huge vegetable gardens and varied flower beds were a true joy to behold. She took horticulture classes to further her knowledge and was chosen by seed companies to participate in seed trials, including what would become the now popular edible pod pea, 'Sugar Snap.'
She served as a Brownie Troop leader in the 1960s and also served with her husband as co-president of the South Portland High Band Boosters when her daughter was in high school. As a member of The Friends of the South Portland Library, she presented an instructional lecture on gardening practices. During the past several years, Grace served as secretary of the Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Association Chapter 111, in which her husband served as president, as well as the editor of their newsletter. In 1999, she won an award for excellence in content and composition as the best chapter newsletter in the nation. Grace was a communicant of Holy Cross Church in South Portland.
She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Philip J. Gouzie; her daughter, Constance; her son-in-law, Douglas W. Libby; and her beloved granddaughters, Heather and Allison.
Visitation will be on Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Hobb Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Rd., South Portland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Holy Cross Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Grace's name to:
The Friends of Feral Felines
P.O. Box 8137
Portland, Maine 04104
Grace Hazlett Gouzie
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram from March 20 to March 21, 2012