Cover photo for Hazel Mae (Green)  Perkins Lutes's Obituary
Hazel Mae (Green)  Perkins Lutes Profile Photo
1931 Hazel 2023

Hazel Mae (Green) Perkins Lutes

December 12, 1931 — August 15, 2023

Waco, Texas

Hazel Perkins Lutes of Waco, Texas, formerly of Naples, Florida, passed away on Tuesday, August 15, at home with her loving family at her side. A Graveside service will be Saturday, August 26, 2023 at 10:30AM in Cherokee, TX at Gray Cemetery with Rev. Scott Talley officiating.

Hazel was born in Brown County, Texas, to Ross O. Green and Hazel Mae Green.  As the daughter of a Texas sharecropper and with not much money and no property, there was only land to work and farm. Mom worked alongside her brothers and sisters in the field picking peanuts and cotton. “We weren’t poor”, she said.  “We just lived off the land and a little money Daddy could make in town.”  We knew our mom to be tough and direct.  Too often we thought she lacked passion and love but would find out that she just showed it in different ways and that any shortcoming was actually ours.  It took us too late in life to learn what she was teaching many years earlier, that true everlasting love is not measured by emotions, kisses, and hugs, but rather by acts.

Mom followed her ambitions and created her own adventures.  We followed her.  Through her love of the sea, Mom taught us how:

-To encounter the unknown when we plotted our first course across the sea.

-To face our fears when she put us at the helm to navigate through the night in rough waters.

-To have courage when encountering a hurricane and if it can’t be avoided, then power straight through its eye.

-To have faith when we run aground, to alter course and keep moving forward.

-To trust our own senses and abilities when we were in fog too thick to see.

We thought it was all us, so brave and daring.  But it was Mom’s voice and her determination to weather the storm and not abandon the voyage.  It was through her acts that we learned to push on.  She taught us perseverance.

In 1983, and after her marriage to Charles (Scooter) Lutes, Jr., Hazel obtained her captain’s license from the Galveston Bay Power Squadron and she and Scooter traversed the waters and shores of Texas, Florida, and The Bahamas on her motor yacht, “Lucky H.”  After Scooter’s untimely death in 1985, Hazel continued her yachting adventures, mostly in the Abacos, Bahamas, becoming familiar with all the cays and marinas. Most of her children’s family vacations were spent with her on the Lucky H, whether it be in Key West, Dry Tortugas or the Bahamas. She weathered three hurricanes.

During one hurricane, she was alone at Marsh Harbour, Bahamas and was required to move away from the docks.  Mom along with her dog, Shadow, took “Lucky H” out into the open bay and dropped anchor.  She set out a storm drogue off the stern to help keep the bow into the wind and steady through the heavy seas.  Mom taught us how:

-To rely on our own spirit when faced with conflicts.

-To hold to our own beliefs and meet challenges with mettle.

-To be resolved and achieve our goals.

We thought it was all us, so brave and daring.  But it was Mom and through her acts we learned tenacity.

Seamen were impressed with the lady captain, Hazel Lutes.  While in Georgetown, Bahamas during the Family Island Regatta, King Eric (King by name only) invited mom to crew in the race on his 28 ft. sloop.  King thought that a woman from Texas and captain of a boat named “Lucky H” must bring good luck.  The Family Island Regatta is an historic annual racing event in which all boats are hand made of wood by Bahamians.  Mom was the only white person and the only woman on a crew of 12-15 Bahamians.  They won!  And Mom taught us how:

- Humility guides our understanding of other races and cultures.

During another family cruise, we anchored in an uninhabited cove in the northern Abaco, Bahamas Islands.  After midnight, mom saw a small boat of approximately 20 feet in length slowly and quietly approaching us without any lights.  They were only visible when they passed between us and moonlight reflecting off the water.  Mom quickly retrieved a stainless-steel M-14 rifle.  Using the darkness to position ourselves to a vantage point on the bridge and 12 feet above the smaller boat, we hailed them to stop.  They did not.  When about 20 feet out and still moving in, we fired a three-round volley across their bow and blinded them with a floodlight.  Only then did we see there were six men in the boat.  Not being able to see us or knowing what additional fire power we had, they quickly turned and fled back into the dark.  We fouled a potential piracy and maybe even worse.  Mom taught us how:

- Our freedoms must sometimes be defended with purpose and force.

Mom taught her children that true love is hard work, full of acts, driven by perseverance, humility, purpose, and force.

In 2012, Hazel sold her home in Naples and captained the Lucky H on its final voyage back to Texas.  She bought a home overlooking Lake Waco where she continued to watch the beautiful sunsets and be closer to family.  She was very proud of her family and would often express that to others.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles W. Lutes, Jr., and her son, Danny Ross Perkins.  She is survived by her children, Wesley Perkins and wife, Meredith; William Perkins and wife, Norma; and Kemberly Barrett and husband, Roy; daughter-in-law Marilyn Perkins.  Grandchildren to include Donovan Perkins, Ross Perkins, Scott Perkins, Regina Perkins, David Perkins, Elizabeth Barrett Crownover, Dr. Ashley Barrett Bratcher, Sarah Barrett, Cara Perkins Whaley, Charles Perkins and Skye Grayson.

The family would like to express their appreciation to Interim Hospice and Visiting Angels for the great care they provided for mom during her final days at home.

Registry for Hazel Perkins Lutes

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Graveside Service

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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