Hazel Catherine Christenson, the daughter of Mathilde Jane and Joseph Hansen, was born July 7, 1917 in Rose Grove Township near Popejoy, Iowa. Hazel graduated from Iowa State University, College of Home Economics, in 1937 and worked at the World’s Fair in Brooklyn, NY in 1939. Hazel taught home economics in Albert City and Lake Center until she married Curtis Carl Christenson of Royal on July 19, 1942. They met at the Cobblestone Ballroom in Storm Lake.
Hazel and Curtis lived and worked on a farm south of Royal. Hazel pursued lifelong interests in education and community service. She maintained her home economics involvement through active participation in 4-H and Cooperative Extension programming. In addition, she volunteered at the Royal Library and Bethlehem Lutheran Church. For many years, she enjoyed being an active member of the Federated Women’s Club and her bridge club. Hazel enjoyed gardening, traveling, and seeing friends and family.
In 1997, Hazel and Curtis moved to Spencer where she enjoyed her new neighbors and friends. Hazel was an enthusiastic and energetic woman with an outgoing person. She was always interested in others, especially children. Her spirit is captured well by a limerick from one of her grandsons celebrating her 100th birthday:
Our Hazel's a gregarious lass
Her vocal stamina none can surpass
All the folks on the street
Say "This lady's so sweet!"
Now if she'd only let passersby pass!
Hazel passed away at St. Luke’s Lutheran Home in Spencer on February 24, 2021, at the age of 103. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Curtis, and her daughter Marcia Coles. Those left to cherish her memory are her children: Brian and his wife Mary, Susan and her husband Mark Mahoney, and Steven and his wife Lisa. She is survived by 8 grandchildren (Peter Coles, David Coles, Andrew Christenson, Megan Christenson, Katie Mahoney, Patrick Mahoney, Matthew Christenson, and Nicholas Christenson) and 5 great grandchildren (Coralie Hazel Coles, Ira Coles, Solomon Coles, Thora Oszkay-Coles, and Maxwell Mahoney) and a host of family and friends.
Memorials may be made to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, in Royal, St. Luke Lutheran Home, in Spencer; and Royal Public Library, in Royal.
The family would like to express a sincere thank you to the the caregivers at St. Luke Lutheran Home, Hazel's nieces and friends who have taken good care of Hazel over the years.