Hazel Ione Ahl was born on February 17, 1914 in Broken Bow, Nebraska, and passed away on March 28, 2011 in Medical Lake, Washington. Hazel was the youngest of eleven children, the daughter of J.B. Walker and Elizabeth Jerome. She grew up in Broken Bow and met and married the love of her life, Herbert Ahl, in 1931. Their son, Chuck, was born in 1932, and the young family set out from Nebraska to make their way in the world as the Great Depression and the ravages of the Dust Bowl choked opportunities in the Midwest. They moved to the Pacific Northwest, settling in Twin Falls, ID, and the Tri-Cities area of Washington. Herb worked as a brick mason on projects for the United States government, including the Bonneville Dam and eventually the family made their way to Spokane and both Herb and Hazel found jobs working at the Kaiser rolling mill during World War II. Their youngest son, Ron, was born in Spokane in 1945 and the family made their home here in the proceeding years.
After Herb retired in 1978, Herb and Hazel purchased a motor home and traveled back to Nebraska visiting family and old friends. Herb passed away too soon in 1989 and Hazel moved to the West Plains to live next to her son, Ron, and his young family.
Hazel enjoyed watching her three grandsons grow up. She attended every school concert and sport event and marked their progress by posting every handmade craft and grade report and eagerly invited every visitor to note the accomplishments of her "boys". She also enjoyed visits from granddaughter Shari and great-grandchildren, Angie and Krista O'Neel.
In her later years, Hazel enjoyed the company of a great friend, Ron Mc Pheron. They spent many hours attending functions for the Eagles, traveling to various areas in the Northwest and contributing their organizing efforts to conventions and committees. They particularly enjoyed visiting old friends and meeting new ones in the Tri-Cities area.
Hazel had an amazingly positive attitude throughout her life. She was always ready and willing to put on her coat and hop in the car, happy to be having a new adventure. She enjoyed meeting new people and warmly considered everyone a friend. She endured difficult times with optimism and determination, ready to pitch in and help with whatever she could contribute. She was a devoted wife, a loving mother and grandmother, and a wonderfully generous friend. Hazel endured the sorrow and joys of life and taught everyone how to live fully and enjoy the simple pleasures of a home-cooked meal and the company of friends.
Hazel is survived by her son Ron (Joan) and grandsons Herb, Alexander, and Gabriel Ahl; granddaughter Shari O'Neel and great granddaughter Krista O'Neel; grandson Gary Ahl, his wife Elaine, their children and grandchildren, step-grandchildren Richard Bryant and Terri Bryant, and numerous nephews and nieces.
Hazel was preceded in death by her husband Herb, sons Harold and Charles, granddaughter Angie O'Neel, and her special friend Ron. She will be greatly missed.
A graveside service will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at Pines Cemetery, 1402 S. Pines Rd, Spokane Valley, WA.
In lieu of flowers, and in the spirit of Hazel's attitude toward helping those down on their luck and less fortunate than herself, the family suggests donations in her name to the House of Charity, P.O. Box 2253, Spokane, WA 99210-2253.