It is with great sadness we announce the sudden passing of Hazel Crombie on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at Haven Hill Retirement Centre. Hazel was into her 94th year—born, Dec. 10, 1920 at Hespero, Alberta. Hazel leaves her loving family: daughter, Ramona Peterson (nee Lipka); son in law, Jim Peterson; grandson, Kelly Peterson (Willingdon, AB); granddaughter, Kim Peterson (Penticton); great granddaughter, Tessa Peterson (Vancouver); granddaughter, Leah Johnson (Dale); great grandson, Graham Johnson; great granddaughter, Sydney Johnson (Chilliwack); also half-sister, Violet Turner (Alastair) of Eckville, AB; step-daughter, Barbara Crombie of Gibsons, BC and many nieces and nephews in Alberta and British Columbia, cousins in Minnesota and Michigan, USA and in Finland. Hazel was predeceased by husbands, Henry Lipka in 1962 of Evergreen, AB; Laurie Brandson of Eckville, AB and John Crombie in 1979 of Calgary. She was predeceased by her parents, Ida Amanda Maki (Weirimaa) in 1924 and Walter (Valto) Maki in 1954; also predeceased by infant brother, Jhalmer Maki and infant sister, Mary Maki; brothers, Walter Jr. Maki, Arthur Wayne Maki, William (Bill) Maki, and sisters, Elsie Kubik, Mildred Kujala, Florence Bailey and Linnea Lewis. After the untimely death of her husband, Henry Lipka in 1962, Hazel sold their farm in Evergreen, Alberta and attended the School for Nursing Aides in Calgary. She graduated Feb. 23, 1967. She had worked in the Eckville Hospital and in Calgary. After her husband John Crombie died in 1979, Hazel moved to Kelowna, BC. She worked as a Certified Nursing Aide at Oak Lodge Care Facility until she retired at 65. Hazel loved learning and going to school. Unfortunately, when she turned 15 she was not permitted to continue grade 8, because she was required to help on the farm. She studied at home, passed grade 8 and later completed upgrading her education with honours and was accepted at the School for Nursing Aides in Calgary. When Hazel retired she began painting; beginning with lessons from special teacher and special friend, Don Chamberlain, of Victoria, BC at Okanagan College in Kelowna. Then she continued painting with the Pleasure Painters at the Seniors’ Centre, Water Street in Kelowna with special teacher and friend, Elizabeth Gregory, of Peachland, for many years. Hazel had an active retirement with her painting classes, playing cards with friends, caring for others who could no longer drive – taking them shopping and to appointments. She visited her friends in the Care Homes in Kelowna and loved to go to garage sales. Hazel always had beautiful roses and a small garden. She loved her little house in Kelowna and never wanted to leave it. She lived there until June 21, 2013 when she came into care at Haven Hill in Penticton. Hazel travelled throughout Europe, Hong Kong, Macau (China) and Mexico with her sister, Florence Bailey; niece and nephew, Diane and George Radics. Then again, in July and Aug. 1998, they visited relatives in Finland, the homeland of both her parents. Her first trip to Europe, however, was with friends from Eckville, Alberta and at that time they met a lovely couple from Hawaii, Margaret and Walter Fugeta, and Hazel kept in touch with them until they passed, and then later continued corresponding with their daughter Carol. Hazel always had a sense of humour and even when moving to Haven Hill, she introduced herself as “Hazel Nut”. Hazel’s family, particularly Ramona, wish to thank the wonderful staff of Haven Hill Retirement Centre for their care. At times Hazel was challenging—even thinking she was still a Nursing Aide. Thank you also to Dr. A.B. Hignell in Kelowna and Dr. M. Lawrie in Penticton. Also a special mention about “Paws” the cat, resident on the second floor of Haven Hill who sat on Hazel’s windowsill and kept a lonely vigil on the morning of Hazel’s passing to comfort Ramona.
And so to Hazel, our dear Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma—your “shift”is over and your “work load” done, thus we say farewell—we miss you and you will always be in our hearts.
“As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death”—Leonardo da Vinci