The Heavenly Hat Ladies and Hat Men

This page has unhatpily been created to recognize those Hat Ladies who are no longer with us.  We wish to honor them as they had honored The Hat Ladies and hat wearing traditions.  We love them and miss them, and we are comforted by the fact they have simply replaced a hat with a halo. 

We are also honoring those wonderful Hat Men in our lives who have so lovingly supported their lady's love of hats and who have been a part of our stylish brigade of volunteers.

Evelyn Squires

If anyone deserves the adjective “Heavenly” in front of “Hatsister,” it is Evelyn Squires.  Her deep belief in The Lord sustained her throughout her life and gave her strength to face its tragedies:  Surviving breast cancer; having her first husband die before he was thirty; discovering too late that their son had inherited the same fatal heart condition. He died without having married. Evelyn remarried but not in time to have children. She and her second husband spent many loving years working together. However, their retirement years were cut short when he died shortly after their move to Charleston. Despite devastating losses and a small birth family, Evelyn ultimately had the biggest family of them all.  Everyone who crossed her path professionally or socially felt blessed by her inner light and symbolically adopted her. In a room full of Hat Ladies with personalities as different as the hats we wore, she earned respect and admiration through her gentility and genuine interest in them; no one ever left her table quite the same.  While we all mourn our loss, we embrace our good fortune that she loved hats.  Most of all, we are comforted knowing she has been reunited with her son, husbands, and The Lord.

Holly Ewans

We add Holly to our Heavenly Hat Ladies with an extra measure of sorrow, for she died in a car accident thanks to a drunk driver.  Coincidentally and tragically one of her sons had previously died in a motorcycle accident. Losing Holly is a loss to the Charleston community as well as to The Hat Ladies; she served with honor and dedication as a Nurse, including during the pandemic. Although her professional commitments rightfully took priority over Hat-pin-ings, she participated as often as possible.  She always took time off to celebrate our Mother's Day Luncheon with her Mother-in-Law as her guest, and our Easter Promenades along with her loving husband Fred and doggy. This beautiful wife, Mother, daughter-in- law, and hatsister left her mark on our hearts and left us all much too soon.  According to Fred, "She absolutely loved The Hat Ladies."  The Hat Ladies are now contributing to a Project that captured Holly's heart of gold where she worked at The Medical University of South Carolina:  A Closet that holds clothing for men and women who choose to live on the street.  It is being named "Holly's Closet."

Louise "Stevie" Stevenson Thomas

As with so many of us, Stevie wore many hats.  The most prominent were:  Exceptional athlete in many sports (inc. the boys' football team before it was conceivable); dedicated teacher, coach, and guidance counselor; camper extraordinaire (spending 52 summers at her beloved Waukeela Camp in N.H). Her influence on several generations of young girls is surpassed only by her love of the Camp's traditions and people.  We looked forward to her return from camp to our activities every September.  Stevie lived a full and varied life with her youthful energy until she passed at age 95.  The Hat Ladies are among family member, long time friends, and hundreds of campers and Staff from all over the country and world who remember her spirited conversations, and gorgeous, flamboyant hats.  We are honored she never forgot us, despite moving to be with her daughters in California many years ago. According to one of her five daughters, "It was a
match made in Heaven when our Mother found The Hat Ladies."

 We agree.

Stevie's family sent a significant number of her beautiful hats for us to sell. Proceeds will be sent to the Little White Church in Eaton Center, New Hampshire, across the lake from the summer camp that is raising funds for extensive repair work.

 

Every hatsister has been a treasured member of The Hat Ladies.  But few are such outstanding members of the community that their passing is announced on all the major networks.  Beverly Craven was such a Lady.  We feel the greatest pride in the fact that her being a Hat Lady is listed right up there with her being on the Board of The Lowcountry Senior Citizens Center, treasurer of the Tri-County Silver-Haired Legislature, member of the Charleston Community Pride Board, mentor for medical students at MUSC, and Charleston County Clerk of Council for 30 years.  She was so highly regarded by the Council, they named their Assembly Room after her.  Many more words can be used to describe Beverly.  One hatsister wrote, "She was so beautiful inside and out with a million dollar smile.  I am glad I was privileged to know her." But sometimes just two say it all.  Another hatsister called her an "amazing lady."  We are so honored the word "hat" fit between those two words.

Jacqualine (Jakae) Myers

Jakae was a relatively new Hat Lady.  But it was quickly evident that she was a born hat lady.  She had a collection of hats that rivaled the best of ours, and she sure knew how to "work them." When she tossed her hat into our ring, it was with enthusiasm and participation.  Thus she gave us a chance to get to know her.  Although she was born and raised in Charleston, her notable teaching career brought her to Alabama for @40 years.  Dr. Myers (yes, she had her Doctorate in Education) was a force to be reckoned with, in and out of the classroom.  She was a loving sister, who returned to Charleston upon her retirement to care for her ailing sister.  In the process, it was our good fortune to welcome her into our hat family. Jakae leaves behind personal friends who she brought into our fold.  We will always be grateful for the time she spent with us, and this legacy of friendship.

Rosalind Rivers was a life long educator, who taught in both Berkeley and Charleston County public schools.  She was also a life long hat wearer.  How fortunate we were to have her honor her promise to become an official Hat Lady upon her retirement.  As we came to know the quiet dignity behind her beautiful smile, we could only imagine the positive influence she had upon countless students.  We are proud to be among the "host of other loving family and dear friends" referenced in her official Obituary.

 

Mary Catsimatides aka Greek Mary and Charleston Mary:  Whatever name you chose to call her (and she preferred "Charleston Mary"), we all called her an "Inspiration."  She blessed us with her love of hats and joi d' vivre.  Her great hatitude and wicked sense of humor, captured in this photo, made her one of the most beloved of all Hat Ladies.  She left us much too soon, just shy of her 97th birthday and left us with high heel shoes hard to fill. As two hatsisters wrote, "She was an amazing little Lady!"  "What a treasure!"

Sheila and David Grant

Although David preceded Sheila in death by @one year, it is appropriate he be acknowledged along with her.  Like so many hat husbands, he fully supported her love of hats.  He was quite the Renaissance man, wearing the hat of "author," among others.  He and Sheila married relatively late in life.  She was a devoted wife and entrepreneur, in her own right.  She may best be remembered for donning an Easter bunny suit and distributing goodies to the children at our Easter Promenades. Sadly both their last few years were beset with major health problems.  May they truly rest in peace together.

Betty Holland Cross aka Bebe was a native Charlestonian and long time Hat Lady. She was a Lady in the finest sense of the word:  She loved hats and wore them beautifully.  She enjoyed volunteering and was among the first to toss her hat in the ring.  And she loved our Luncheons and Promenades.  We cheered when she met her second husband; we mourned when the marriage did not last.  Consequently Betty left her hat family to be with her daughters and grandchildren in Montgomery, Alabama.  But she never really left us.  We heard from her via email, and we were invited to her 90th birthday celebration a few years ago.  We are honored to be recognized by her family as having been a significant part of their family as well.

Carol Niemeyer:  This thoroughly Southern (Hat) Lady came to Summerville from Arkansas.  She brought with her a beautiful smile and a sassy personality that immediately drew others to her.  She was, in the words of a close hatsister, "A sophisticated social climber who 'LOVED' being the center of attention.  She sucked it up with the best of them!" And she deserved it, too.  She was a hoot: Intelligent, opinionated, judgmental, security driven.  Her poetry writing existed just to express herself. It was our good fortune she also came with a love of hats; her membership in The Hat Ladies covered almost our entire history. She especially enjoyed our Luncheons at Garrett and our Easter Promenade.  I don't believe she ever missed any of them.  Now it is our turn to miss her.

Ruth Mazyck:  Ruth was a native Charlestonian.  Thus it was a special treat to see her and her Sister Jan Hucks, who is pictured below, dance the Charleston.  Ruth was one of the first Hat Ladies.  She was an active member until @4 years ago when she suffered a stroke during back surgery.  Nonetheless, this spunky, hat loving Lady remained in our lives until the end.  She always had a smile.  She always had her perfectly manicured nails.  She always had her beloved Gamecocks on the television.  Most of all, she always had the support of her loving family.  They will miss her terribly, as will we.

 

 

Sylvia Huskey: Sylvia became a Hat Lady thanks to our involvement in Dragon Boat Charleston.  She started as our Coach and soon became our friend.  In reality, she was a friend and inspiration to everyone.  She was deeply involved in sports such as paddling and tennis and an active member of her Church.  But she still found time to volunteer with us at our Hat Decorating Project at MUSC.  This photo is from a Promenade a few years ago.  Thanks to her English roots, she had a love of hats, too.

 

Jean Thompson:  Jean grew up in England and met her American husband following WWII. They traveled extensively, thanks to his military career, and ultimately settled in Mt. Pleasant.  With her sister in law already a Hat Lady and her embracing the English tradition of hat wearing, Jean soon became "an avid member."  She enjoyed playing bridge and being part of the Alliance Francais, along with a number of her hatsisters.  Jean is remembered as a loving wife, mother, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend, and elegant Lady.

Suzanne Flynn.  The first word that came to mind in describing Suzanne was "classy."  She brought her New York sense of fashion and design and love of flowers with her to our Holy City; fortunately she also brought her love of hats and the water.  Not only did she become a Hat Lady, par excellence, she became a Hat Dragon.  As she valiantly fought to be a survivor, she personified another word that truly defined her and inspired us:  "Courageous."

Richard (Dick) Cote, husband of Nancy Betancourt.  Dick was described by a friend in The Post and Courier as "incredible. He was brilliant, an author, editor, publisher, artist, photographer...you name it.  If he put his mind to it, he could do it." He was also a loving husband and devoted friend.  He was a larger than life figure who came along once in our lifetime.  It was a shock to all of us to lose him.

 

Dr. Edward Green: Devoted husband, father, grandfather, author, scholar, and life long professor of psychology. He spoke five languages fluently and, at the age of 88, was teaching himself Mandarin Chinese. Ed was especially interested in all things Scottish and played the bagpipes in several pipe bands. He was also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Fort Sumter Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Ed was known as a distinguished, elegant gentleman, a true Renaissance Man, who will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.  The Hat Ladies are among them, as we came to know him accompanying his loving wife, Sissa, at virtually every Easter Promenade.

 Nancy Wolfe, beloved widow, Mother of five, Grandmother of many more, devoted member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, East Cooper Newcomers Club, Isle of Palms Exchange Club, Newborns in Need, Page Turner's group, and, we are proud to say, The Hat Ladies. A no nonsense, pint size dynamo who faithfully supported every Garrett Academy Luncheon, was also the "eyes" to the precious blind dog she adopted years ago.  That fact alone describes our Nancy.

 

 

 

Rebecca Scott, beloved Hat Lady, daughter of Hat Lady Julianne Scott and granddaughter of Hat Lady Anita Drennon, pictured at her first Hat Ladies Luncheon at Poogan's Porch.

  A multi talented, charming young lady cut down in the prime of her life, Rebecca attended Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont and Savannah College of Arts & Design in Savannah, Georgia. She was a performing arts major and had a passion for art in many forms such as illustration, music, singing, writing and stage performance.

Dr. Carl Korn, beloved husband of Sandra, earned doctorates in pharmacy and dermatology, engaged in cutting edge research, served as media rep for USC, appeared in Time Magazine, on the radio, and in newspapers all over the world, painted, did needle point tapestries, and traveled extensively. Although he dated famous and infamous people, he told Sandra he loved her more than anything in the world, wanted to spoil her, and give her the world on a platinum platter; he surely did that.

Janie Stiles:  Janie was a devoted Navy wife and mother, literally holding down the ship during the long absences from her loving husband.  In 1984 her impact o her family's life and her community was recognized when she was named Military Spouse of the Year, the first year that designation was bestowed.  We are proud to acknowledge that her membership in The Hat Ladies stands out from her long record of volunteerism as her favorite and one that brought her the most joy.

Janie's loving husband Al remains an honorary "Hat Lady" in her memory and is one of our "Easter Promenade photographers"

Colonel Hedy Pinkerton:  During Hedy's 29-year Air Force career, she was a Women’s Air Force Squadron Commander, served in squadron, group, and vice wing command positions.  She became a major and colonel and was named Woman of the Year for Community Involvement by the Colorado Springs Junior League and Supervisor of the Year at Peterson Air Force Base. Following her retirement from military active duty, she came to The Citadel to mentor and lead students.  It was our good fortune that she also loved hats. Despite her busy schedule, she found time to volunteer and be the keynote speaker at our Anniversary Luncheon held at the Air Force base. She entertained us with the history of hats in the military. Hedy returned to her home base of Louisiana to care for her ailing Mother, who now survives her.

Lena Burdin was one of the original Hat Ladies.  She was also a Home Economics teacher, a loving wife for 60+ years, and the Mother of four girls.  With her guidance and encouragement, they became citizens of the world,  creating an extended family that epitomized cultural diversity.  She spent her last years returning to her roots in upper state New York

Margaret Krug lived primarily in Michigan.  She taught for 34 years, belonged to the garden Club, Arts Council, Historical Society, and founded (and presided over) the Family Council of the Heartland Whitehall Nursing Home. Fortunately for us, she wintered in Charleston for a short while. It was long enough for us to meet this lovely, soft spoken (Hat) Lady and form lasting friendships.  

Evelyn Vinci was a (Hat) Lady of the world.  We were fortunate her last stop was Charleston.  She and her family were staunch supporters despite her much too short time with us, even coming en masse for our 2012 Easter Promenade. In the words of her loving son, "...as she demonstrated throughout her life, she faced her battle with cancer with amazing grace, dignity, honor and courage, which will serve as a continual inspiration to us all

Gerald Karst at Promenade, looking his dapper self. He brought his 90 year old Mama with this day, along with his Hat Lady Dottie. It was a day they all remembered. How he loved them both and loved seeing them in hats. A true Southern gentleman if there ever were one. 

Anne Spear was one of the original Hat Ladies.  We are honored to be among the list of prestigious organizations to which she belonged.  She is deeply missed by us, as well as her adoring husband, John, who wrote: "She was a lovely lady and it is as if someone has ripped away part of my heart. I loved her dearly and always will." 

Jerry Coker was a gentleman and a gentle man.  He loved coming with his wife, Carolyn, to our annual Easter Promenade and out monthly Hatpy Hours.  And he loved his hats.  He had quite a collection of his own, even wearing them when he wasn't with us.  A true hat man.

Dolores Zink was a member of long standing. Deeply devoted to The Hat Ladies; she formed strong friendships with her hatsisters and kept the most extensive photo album of them all. She particularly looked forward to our monthly Luncheons and yearly Promenade.  A perfect illustration of her kind heart was growing her hair and donating it to Locks of Love as a 60+ year old.  Prior to cutting it, she styled it in braids just like Willie Nelson's...her "love."

Dr. Marvin Murdaugh was an ardent supporter of his wife being a Hat Lady.  He often accompanied her to Hatpy Hours.and Promenades and joined her as garden docent for Preservation Society Tours. He is pictured on the red carpet of The Footlight Players, the night The Hat Ladies sponsored the Play, "Crowns"

Hazel France, soft spoken and elegant, won her place in the hearts of The Hat Ladies in the two years of her membership.  Originally from New Jersey, she formed bonds that transcended friendship into family.  Her deep support of The Hat Ladies Monetary Award was her way of acknowledging her own roots.

Everett Alster, husband of Anne, was always the first to toss his hat in our ring when it came to being a Senior Guide for the Home and Garden Tours we supported in the Fall and Spring. He was also an outstanding volunteer for his church and other community causes.

LaQuines Brown came to her first Hat Ladies luncheon, looked all around the room, and announced, "I am home." This beautiful Lady fit in beautifully with her sweet charm and kind spirit.  It was a joy to us all when she walked with us in The Race for The Cure

Betty Lauren left behind a legion of friends.  Everyone loved this elegant Lady who worked as a realtor with her sons.  She was a "people-person" who loved doing lunch and bringing her grands to our Promenade.  Her legions of friends and hatsisters turn out en masse to honor her.

Adele Borkowski was one of our youngest members; she tragically died giving birth to her third child.  Despite her busy home life, she always found time to volunteer and come to luncheons and HaTpy Hours. She loved hats and being a Hat Lady so much a hat sat atop her coffin.

Charline Murray was a lady who loved to travel and to dance.  It was always something to toast when she was in town and could join us. She cut an elegant figure with her husband and her dog at Promenades.

Jan Hucks was a sister to Ruth Mazyck and a hatsister to us all.  They shared their love of hats, and we shared Jan's wicked sense of humor and musical talents.  None will forget the two "Butler" sisters doing the Charleston at High Tea, as they did in days of yore.

Grace Fuller was one of our first Hat Ladies.  Even years after her passing, her children spoke of how much she loved being a member.

Picture The Hat Ladies