Funeral Mass celebrated for diocesan and community leader, volunteer Hazel Brimi

Hazel Catherine Brimi, 99, a longtime volunteer in the Diocese of Knoxville who had been active in a number of diocesan organizations, passed away at home on April 11.

Mrs. Brimi and her husband were charter members of Sacred Heart Parish, where she served in various guilds. She also served in leadership positions with the Ladies of Charity, the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, and the Catholic Foundation.

And she also was a founding member of Tennessee Right to Life and served on the board of United Way of Greater Knoxville.

In addition, Mrs. Brimi was a member of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine Auxiliary, participated in the Serra Club, and supported the Knoxville Symphony. She was instrumental in forming what is now called the Arc Knox County/Sunshine Industries.

She was born Feb. 26, 1921, to Walter and Erna Kaiser in Minneapolis, the second of eight children. She graduated from St. Anthony’s Catholic High School in 1939 and attended the University of Minnesota, where she met medical student Robert Brimi, whom she married in December 1943. They were parents of nine children.

In addition to her parents, Hazel is predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Dr. Brimi, children Barbara, Paul and William, grandson Thomas Sever Rhinehart, and siblings Cary Fardette, Maggie Pech, and Thomas Kaiser.

Left to cherish her memory are her children John (Betty) Brimi, Bob (Connie) Brimi, Mary Catherine Brimi, Elizabeth Brimi, Carol (Bob) Rhinehart, and Patricia (Tom) Janney; four siblings, Lloyd Kaiser, Bernie (Pat) Kaiser, Eileen (Glenn) Marron, Jody (Don) Miller, 11 grandchildren, five greatgrandchildren, many nieces and nephews and countless friends.

A private family funeral Mass and burial was planned, with a memorial Mass to be celebrated at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ladies of Charity Knoxville (, the Arc Knox County (, or a favorite charity.

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