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Hazel Gooden

Obituary for Hazel Gooden

March 27, 1932 - October 11, 2020
Fall Church, Virginia | Age 88


Hazel Barnes Bigelow Gooden was born in Independent Hill, Virginia, on March 27, 1931, to Florine Barnes. She is the second of four children. Her strong work ethic was developed at an early age, as she lived and worked on the family farm with her older brother, Gene Calvin Barnes, and younger sisters, Rowena Barnes Quinn and Joyce Ann Barnes. Raised primarily by her great grandmother, Amanda Lee Lambert Barnes, she learned the values of serving the Lord, honesty, responsibility, hard work, and education.

Hazel attended Cabin Branch Elementary School in Dumfries, Virginia, and Manassas Industrial Regional High School. After graduating from high school, she married James (Peter) Bigelow in 1950 and moved to Baileys Cross Roads, Virginia. Hazel and Peter shared a love of motorcycles, and she was often trackside cheering him on as he crossed the finish line. They both belonged to the Flying Missiles Motorcycle Club, loved to dance, and cherished spending time with their family.

As the result of their union, they had five children, Yvonne Butchee, James (Brother) Bigelow Jr., Gertrude (Trudy) McKnight, Gregory Bigelow, and Yvette (Cassie) Arriaga. Hazel ran a tight ship, and instilled in her children the values of character, integrity, morality, and the importance of education. She taught them at an early age to finish what they started, boundaries are those that we place on ourselves, and challenges faced should be viewed as opportunities to excel.

In 1951, Hazel began working at the United States Census Bureau as a Card Punch Operator. She later worked for the Chief of Naval Operations in 1952 and the Army Security Agency in 1953, and started her career at the National Security Agency (NSA) in 1955. Hazel traveled nearly 80 miles each day, to and from work, while raising her five children and continuing to advance her career. She attended the University of Maryland at night from 1958 to 1961, attending an NSA-sponsored program and earning a certificate in Personnel Management. After serving the government for 27 years, she retired from NSA as a Branch Chief.

Hazel joined Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in 1952, where she was a faithful member for 68 years. She was also a member of numerous organizations with high-impact on the community, becoming a board or lifetime member of many, including the Northern Virginia Council for Negro Women, OES of Virginia P.H.A Evening Star Chapter #228, the Northern Virginia Baptist Association, Lott Carey, Fairfax County Program for the Aging, Our Daily Bread, Bailey's Social Seniors, and the Mount Vernon Baptist Association. She gave unselfishly of her time by delivering meals on wheels to Fairfax County residents, working for the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Homeless Ministry, Ezekiel Missionary Ministry and Nurses and Wellness Ministry, serving as a teacher and driver for vacation bible school, being a member of the Pinkett and Sheppard Club and Golden Gems, and serving as Culinary Chair since 1985.

After the death of her first husband, Hazel married William Gooden in 1986. As he was a chef in the Army, he helped further her love of cooking, and they could often be found in the church kitchen together. Hazel placed God and others before herself, freely giving of her time and resources to anyone in need. She shunned public recognition, for as a true servant of God she needed only his attention.

Sadly, on October 11, 2020, Hazel was called home to be with the Lord. Although she is gone, she leaves a legacy of devotion to family, friends, church, and service to others and the community.

Hazel was proceeded in death by both of her husbands, two sons, and her siblings. She leaves to cherish her memory her daughters, Yvonne, Trudy, and Cassie, one son-in-law, Leroy McKnight, five grandchildren, Tremayn Groves, Leslee McKnight, Erica Arriaga, Rachel Arriaga, and Gregory Russel Jr., five great grandchildren, Sophia, Madeline, Gavin, Nya, and Jaz, two special nieces, Wanda Johnson and Mirenda (Peach) Hall, three special nephews, Earl Barnes, John White II, and Edward Robinson, and a host of godchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation to the following organizations that assisted Hazel in her final days and support causes near to her heart.

Capital Caring Adler Center: The extraordinary and compassionate medical staff at the Adler Center ensured Hazel was comfortable and well taken care of during her final days. A donation helps other families be blessed with the same care and compassion.

Bethany House of Northern Virginia Center: For years, Hazel supported this domestic violence shelter, which helps women and their children who have suffered from domestic violence regain health and dignity. A donation helps this non-profit, faith-based organization continue providing temporary shelter and support to women and children.

Bailey's Shelter and Supportive Housing: Hazel frequently supported this multi-service facility that houses a shelter program, permanent supportive housing, and medical respite beds for homeless adults discharged from hospitals. A donation helps this program continue offering hope and hospitality for people experiencing homelessness in Northern Virginia.

Please add "In Memory of Hazel B. Gooden" to the memo section or "Hazel B. Gooden" as the Honoree/Dedicated to where applicable. If notification is requested, please enter Leslee or Trudy McKnight.

Please mail cards and all related correspondence to Trudy McKnight, 5392 Ashleigh Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22030.


Thursday, October 29
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM    3896225 3989427 20201029T180000 20201029T200000

Ames Funeral Home (Chapel)
8914 Quarry Road
Manassas, VA 20110
(703) 368-2814

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