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1938 Vera 2024

Vera Louise (White) Hazel

December 23, 1938 — June 9, 2024

Battle Creek

Vera Louise (White) Hazel, age 85 of Battle Creek passed away on Sunday morning, June 9, 2024 at Bronson Battle Creek. She was born in Hancock, Michigan on December 23, 1938 to William and Sarah (Knuuttila) White. Vera was their second child and grew up in Hancock in the Boston area with her three siblings. She graduated from Hancock High School and met Jerry Lee Hazel, a student at Michigan Tech, around that time. After graduation, she followed Jerry back to Marshall, Michigan, and they married on August 16th, 1958. 

Vera worked in the Leggett Company office in Marshall until she had their first son, John, in 1959. After a few years, they moved to Battle Creek in the Harper Creek School District where they raised their three children, John, Jim, and Karen. Vera worked as a stay at home mom and volunteered at their schools until her youngest child turned 14. In the years that followed, Vera worked at the Countryside Inn Restaurant for 14 years. She was a member of and treasurer for the American Legion Auxiliary. She also served as the Editor of the Polio Perspectives, the newsletter for the Michigan Polio Network, Inc.

She and Jerry enjoyed hosting and crewing for Canadian & Swedish Balloonists in the World Ballooning Championships. They continued their friendships with the Swedish Balloonists which sparked an interest in traveling to see Sweden, Norway, Finland, & Iceland. They liked it so much that they traveled to Sweden again a few years later. 

Vera tended to a vast backyard garden for many, many years and was a member of the Marshall Garden Club. She was particularly great at growing strawberries, and sometimes just allowed them to grow as “volunteers” as she called it. With the bountiful harvests, she often made strawberry jam or strawberry shortcake that was coveted by her family.

Over the years, she and Jerry took many camping vacations with their children, including the Lake Superior Circle Tour, followed the Oregon Trail, and took a week-long white-water rafting trip on the Salmon River in Idaho. Although she experienced the great outdoors across the country in her early adulthood, Vera remained true to her roots and believed that the land in the UP and Lake Superior was incomparable and “God’s Country.” Vera traveled to the UP with her daughter many times to visit family and enjoy the beauty of creation seen in the many waterfalls and Lake Superior. Her last UP trip was spent with her children, Jim (Sharon) and Karen. 

Vera was a longtime member of Marshall United Methodist Church, which she joined in 1958. She enjoyed several activities at the church including the ‘Sassy Sista’s’, group outings, and often helped to prepare fellowship meals with other ladies in the church’s kitchen. Vera was always ready to help. She volunteered for a few mission trips over the years, including traveling to Springfield, MO to assemble health kits for Katrina survivors in 2008 and helping to make a home in Wolf County, Kentucky warmer, safer and drier as part of the Appalachian Service Project in 2006 with her granddaughter, Amanda. 

In her later years, Vera joined the Senior Center in Marshall, and enjoyed playing euchre, cribbage, doing crafts, puzzling, and taking learning classes, among other things. She spent time with her friend Roland puzzling, playing cribbage, and having lunch on Sundays after Church. She stayed active by tending her garden and playing with the beloved cats that found their way into her home. 

Vera spent the last eight months of her life in the loving care of the staff at Calhoun County Medical Care Facility. She spread love and cheer to all who met her and always with a beautiful smile and bright countenance. She was a joy to behold. 

Vera was preceded in death by her husband, Jerry Lee Hazel on June 9, 2003, her eldest son, John Lester Hazel on May 3, 2021, her brother, William Henry White on March 2, 2024, along with her parents. She is survived by her children, James Lawrence (Sharon) Hazel of Hopkins, MI and Karen Marie (TC) Adams of Battle Creek; her grandchildren, Amanda Violet (Alec) Bashore and Emily Vera (Antonio) Hazel Mitchell; her great-grandsons, Atlas and Finn Bashore; her sisters, Maryanne Lexson and Carol (Joe) Santti.

Please join the family in a memorial gathering to celebrate Vera’s life. It will be held at Marshall United Methodist Church, 721 Old US 27 North, Marshall, Michigan on July 27th, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

Memorial donations may be directed to: Any Veteran Group of your choice or to Companion Cats, 29 Hoag St, Battle Creek, MI 49014. 

Arrangements by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care, Battle Creek. Personal messages for the family and favorite memories of Vera may be placed at

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Memorial Gathering

Saturday, July 27, 2024

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Marshall United Methodist Church

721 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, MI 49068

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