Norman Richard Hazen died June 18, 2018, while in hospice care and with his daughter and son by his side. He was 93 years old.
Norman was born January 7, 1925, in Ottawa, Kansas, the son of Clarence Edward Hazen and Maude (Mozley) Hazen. His brother, Kenneth Hazen, was older than Norman, while his sister, Lois (Hazen) Campbell, was younger.
Norman grew up near the Marais des Cygnes River and grew to love woodworking and gardening in high school, hobbies that would stay with him throughout his life.
Upon graduation from Ottawa High School, Norman immediately joined the Navy where he served as a signalman aboard the U.S.S. Leutze in the Pacific during World War II. After several amphibious landings and two sea battles, his ship was attacked by a kamikaze pilot near Japan. Norman and the ship returned to the states, and during that time the war came to a close.
After more than two and a half years in the Navy, Norman attended Ottawa University on the G.I. Bill. He later began working for the city of Ottawa, first in the water and light department as the city’s only meter reader, and later as a lineman on a bucket truck. He ended his career as a supervisor of meter readers and operating a service truck. In this way Norman visited nearly every business and home in Ottawa during his four-decade career with the city.
While working for the city he met Elizabeth “Betty” Scherling, and the two were married on November 23, 1952. The couple had three children, Jeanne, Greg and Keith. As a leader in the 4-H club, Norman taught many members of the club woodworking and electrical skills. Norman was also a lover of animals, and the family had pet chickens, rabbits, pheasant, dogs, cats and a lamb, along with a couple of ornery geese.
He and Betty enjoyed traveling abroad after retirement, making friends as they went. He also used his woodworking skills and made an elaborate treehouse that was the highlight of his grandsons’ summers.
Norman maintained a large garden and yard at the couple’s home on Beech Street in Ottawa that was meticulously cared for until Norman and Betty moved to Lawrence, Kansas.
Norman and Betty lived at several retirement and assisted living communities in Lawrence late in life, and after Betty’s death, Norman spent his last year and a half at the home of Greg and his wife, Patricia Henshall, north of Lawrence. Betty and Norman were married for nearly 60 years at the time of her death.
Norman will be remembered by his friends and family as a kind, honest, hardworking man with a sense of humor that never relied on ridiculing anyone else.
Keith and Betty died before Norman, as did his parents, his brother, Kenneth Hazen, and his sister, Lois Campbell. Norman is survived by Jeanne Fridell and her husband, Max, and their son, Zach, and Zach’s wife, Margaret Hair; Greg and Patricia; Keith’s widow, Jaci, and her sons Adam and Tyler, and Tyler’s wife, Dana.
A memorial graveside service for close friends and family will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 21st at Highland Cemetery in Ottawa.
Memorials may be made in Norman’s name to the Trinity Interfaith Food Pantry and sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.