OBITUARY: Touching tributes paid to Southsea’s ice cream shop lady

Hazel Pople''on her wedding day on March 31, 1969
Hazel Pople''on her wedding day on March 31, 1969
Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Genuine, selfless, and kind, Hazel Pople touched the lives of everyone who surrounded her. She put her heart and soul into everything she did, and never failed to support her family in all of their endeavours. A loving wife, mother,

grandmother, and friend, Hazel left her mark in this world and will be deeply missed by many.

Rebecca Pople, right, tri-skating at South Parade Pier at the rink  run by Hazel

Rebecca Pople, right, tri-skating at South Parade Pier at the rink run by Hazel

Hazel’s story began in 1940, born and raised in Portsmouth. She attended Lyndhurst Junior School where she spent her time playing netball and attending Sunday school. After graduating Hazel found inspiration in the art of interior design, travelling to America to work at the age of 20. Here, she had the pleasure of designing the summer home for one of Hollywood’s most iconic beauties, Marilyn Monroe.

Having returned to England, Hazel’s life changed when she met the man of her dreams, Portsmouth-born Acker Pople. The couple crossed paths whilst Hazel was working as a bar manageress at Gay Tauros nightclub, and sparks flew at first sight. Acker and Hazel soon fell in love, getting married on March 31, 1969.

Before long, Acker and Hazel welcomed the birth of their two daughters, Rebecca Pople, now 47, and 54-year-old Debbie Fairweather. Hazel was also a caring grandmother to Debbie’s three sons, Alex, Shaun and Daniel.

In 1977 Acker and Hazel ran a grocery shop on Victoria Road South, also beginning their journey at Southsea’s South Parade Pier. Here, they owned a tri-skating rink as well as an ice-cream shop and a snack bar. The couple continued their passion for trade for 40 years.

Hazel Pople with veterans on the seafront

Hazel Pople with veterans on the seafront

Hazel regularly gave free coffee and cake to veterans, and in 2011 was awarded a certificate from The Royal British Legion in appreciation of her dedication and support.

Rebecca Pople described her mum as overly generous, and ‘always there to support us in anything we wanted to do’.

Hazel brought up her daughters with love and devotion, and Rebecca felt as though her mum always taught her to ‘respect people, to help people, we have to give… it’s not about receiving’.

She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016 and later developed a brain tumour.

A funeral was held in memory of Hazel on Tuesday, June 20, at 1pm at St George’s Church, Portsea, with more than 250 people attending to say their goodbyes.

‘She had such a good send off... it was touching,’ said Rebecca.

‘She is going to be really badly missed by everyone. So many memories... it’s not going to be the same without her.’