By Ron Gregory
WILLIAMSON – The 97-year-old mother of Mingo County State Sen. H. Truman Chafin has passed away after a lengthy illness.
Hazel Marie Isaac Chafin was preceded in death by her husband, former Mingo County Sheriff Tom C. Chafin. Also preceding her in death were her parents, Charles and Georgia Isaac; and three brothers, Tommy, Ray and Jack Isaac.
Described as a primitive artist, works created by Hazel Chafin hang in the offices and homes of her children. Sen. Chafin often shows visitors a painting by his mother of the old Mingo County Courthouse which adorns his law office walls in Williamson.
Several of her paintings were selected for West Virginia’s Juried Exhibition by the state Department of Culture and History.
She is survived by one sister, Kathrine Isaac LaPorte of Elizabethton, Tennessee; three sons, Andrew, Don and Truman Chafin; two daughters, Georgia Griffith and Jeanne Persinger; 16 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Her son, Sen. Chafin, was first elected to the state Senate in 1982. He is currently the longest continuously serving senator at the state Capitol. He also holds records for length of service as majority leader as well as membership on the Finance and Judiciary committees.
Hazel Chafin was a member of Matewan Baptist Church. She will be interred next to her husband at the Ellison Hatfield Cemetery in Newtown.
Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Sunday.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions honoring Mrs. Chafin to the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, P.O. Box 2942, Charleston, WV 25330.