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MADISON / BRADENTON, Fla. - Joan Hazel Carter, in Bradenton, Fla., aged 88, passed away surrounded by family members on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, at Inspired Living at Hidden Lakes following a stroke and ensuing four year battle with dementia.

Born on Feb. 22, 1928, to parents Charles and Constance Wilkinson, Hazel graduated from the County Grammar School for Girls in Beckenham, Kent, England, in 1947 and received a full scholarship to Oxford University, Oxford, England, where she was a member of St. Hugh's College from 1947 to 1950.

In 1952 Hazel conducted fieldwork in Shona in present day Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and in Tonga from 1957 to 1960 in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).

A post-graduate scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, Hazel then became a Lecturer in Bantu Languages at SOAS in 1954, with a promotion to Reader in Bantu Languages (1971 to 1983). She taught both B.A. and M.A. Bantu language courses.

In 1971 she received her doctorate with her dissertation "Syntactic Tone Phrases in Kongo."

After one year as a visiting professor at the Department of African Languages & Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980-1981, Hazel retired from SOAS in London and moved permanently to the United States.

First an Honorary Research Fellow, then a Visiting Professor, Hazel became a Full Professor at the University of Wisconsin in 1986. She retired in June 1995 and was appointed Professor Emerita.

In 2001 she received the Distinguished Services Award from the African Language Teachers Association.

Hazel was enormously talented in the fiber crafts of bobbin lace, knitted lace (especially Shetland), tatting, crochet and doll making. She designed lace items, especially shawls, for Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill and others. Hazel was a member of the British Lace Guild and Helen Allen Textile Collection, International Old Lacers and Madison Knitters' Guild, and her work won several awards at the Wisconsin State Fair. Hazel also knitted for Friends of Meriter Hospital.

Never forgetting her Scottish heritage, Hazel joined St. Andrew's Society of Madison and was a former president and editor.

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Hazel is survived by her brother, Colin Wilkinson; her daughter, Hilary Walker; and son, Guy Carter.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, at 11 a.m. at HOLY REDEEMER CATHOLIC CHURCH, 144 W. Johnson St., Madison, Wis., immediately followed by a committal service at Roselawn Memorial Park, 705 Femrite Drive, Monona.

No flowers please, by request.

A special thank you to the wonderful caregivers of Inspired Living at Hidden Lakes in Bradenton, Fla., and Tidewell Hospice in Sarasota, Fla.

Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

the life of: Carter, Joan Hazel
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