Community Owned. Local News. Burke County, NC.

Hazel Conner Shell


Mrs. Hazel Conner Shell, 85, of Valdese, NC, transitioned to her heavenly home on Tuesday, July 2, 2024.

Born in Rutherford County, NC on October 16, 1938, she was the daughter of the late Julius Conner and Alma Head Conner. Hazel was a dedicated member of El Bethel Baptist Church and was a faithful servant of the Lord. She lived to demonstrate God’s love to anyone she met. Hazel had a fun-loving personality. She loved all things of beauty and presented herself as strong and elegant, yet soft and incredibly kind. She made a big impact on people and shared love and her Lord boldly. She never met a stranger and fiercely loved her family. If you were fortunate enough to meet her, she immediately loved you too.

Hazel is survived by her daughter, Angela “Angie” Norville (David Shook); grandson and light of her life, Spencer David Norville Guffey; sister and lifelong best friend, Hilda Roper (Bill); sister by choice, Clara Lovelace (Roby H. Norville); and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews; and many special friends, too many to name.

In addition to her parents, Hazel was preceded in death by her husband, Johnnie Landon Shell; sisters, Grace Smith (Bob) and Betty Roper (Bobby, Sr.); and brother-in-law, Bill Roper (Hilda).

The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m., Sunday, July 7, 2024 at El Bethel Baptist Church. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. in the church with Rev. Justin Cunningham and Dr. Thomas A. Bland, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

She loved nature, flowers, and birds.  In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Amorem Hospice, 902 Kirkwood Street, NW, Lenoir, NC 28645.

Hazel believed that working in medicine is a calling, and it was obvious who did it for love, and who did it for a job. The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Jiri Kubac (who lead her medical team), Dr. Aubrey Calhoun, Dr. Mark Brady, Dr. Michael Rinaldi, and the fine, uniquely called nurses, recreational therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, cafeteria staff, and EVS staff who attended to her through her brief illness.

Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting