HAZEL Arrington, whose delicatessen at 54th Street and Hazel Avenue in West Philadelphia was a neighborhood attraction for more than 15 years in the '70s and '80s, died Wednesday of melioidosis, a viral infection. She was 81 and lived in Mount Airy.

She was born in Madison County, Va., to Martha and Joe Blakey, and was educated in the public schools there. She came to Philadelphia in the early '50s.

She worked in food service for a while before opening the deli in the mid-'70s.

A woman popular for her cooking skills, Hazel loved to cook and bake. She made delicious cakes, pies and rolls, and the main course often included country hams and other Southern-flavored fare, which reminded the family of growing up in Virginia.

She was married to the late Sam Avent. She is survived by a daughter, Peggy Howard; a sister, Dolores Owens; 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by another daughter, Veronica Payne, and a son, Conrad Arrington.

Services will be private.