Essie Rae Hassell

Essie Rae McLawhorn Hassell, age 99, of Elizabeth City, NC died on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at her daughter’s home.

Born in Pitt County, NC on November 28, 1921 to the late Robert McLawhorn and Dicie Stocks McLawhorn, she was the widow of Wilbert Hassell. She was an excellent seamstress and worked in manufacturing. Mrs. Hassell was a member of Fountain of Life Church and enjoyed crafting. A loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great great-grandmother, she will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her daughters, Hazel Eves (Charlie) of Camden, Dean Strain of Elizabeth City, Mable Dale (Tommie) of Belvidere, Jennette Meads (Dennis) of Elizabeth City, and Shirley Spruill (Allen) of Hertford, NC; a son, Steve Hassell (Debbie) of Elizabeth City; half-sisters, Kathy, Lois, and Dorothy; half-brothers, Joe, Eugene, and Bobby; a daughter-in-law, Zella; twenty-one grandchildren; forty-eight great-grandchildren; and twenty-five great great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her sons, Leroy Hassell and Wilbert Hassell; and a son-in-law, Alton Strain.

A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at Twiford Memorial Chapel with Sean Hassell officiating. The service will be livestreamed at A visitation will be held on Wednesday evening from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in West Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Albemarle Home Care and Hospice, 1507 N. Road Street, #2, Elizabeth City, NC 27909.

Twiford Memorial Chapel, 405 E. Church St., Elizabeth City, NC is serving the Hassell family. You may express condolences to the family by visiting

To plant a tree in memory of Mrs. Hassell or send flowers to the family, please visit