On January 20, 2013 Hazel E. Priest went to be with our Lord while at Willapa Harbor Health and Rehabilitation Center. As a publicly professing follower of Jesus, she was reunited in Heaven, after more than 10 years of patient waiting, with her husband Grant (1913-2001) who had preceded her in death.
Hazel was born near Milton-Freewater, Oregon on January 26, 1915 to Floyd and Mattie Fox and attended Aberdeen High School, graduating with the class of 1936. While in Aberdeen, she was active with the Epworth League, a Methodist young adult association. Hazel met her husband Grant while working at Polson’s logging camp in Grays Harbor as a ‘flunky’ where her mother was a cook. They married on July 2, 1936 in Montesano. The family lived in Central Park until 1946 when they moved to the Priest Farm in Nalpee (between Menlo and Lebam).
Hazel was very active in 4-H clubwork as a club leader and teacher of sewing skills. She helped many young girls get started with sewing. One of the phrases many of them heard was “that’s not quite right, let’s take it out and try again.” With her own sewing skills she created many sets of doll clothes, some of which were given out on dolls at the annual Willapa Harbor Ministerial Toyhouse. She also repaired many dolls including some very precious ones.
Hazel was a long-time member of the Ferndale Rebekah Lodge of Lebam and held the offices of Noble Grand, Vice Grand and Treasurer. She was also active in the Frances Grange and developed some close friendships during her years in the Grange and the Lodge. Hazel was a member of the Lebam Wesleyan Church and the Lebam Community Church.
While living on Priest Farm, Hazel spent time square dancing, digging clams, peeling cascara bark, growing vegetables, tending her flowers, helping out at the Pacific County Fair, supporting the Lebam Church and, of course, sewing in addition to all the daily chores of farm life.
Her husband, Grant, her brother, Albert Fox, her son, Mark, and her daughter, Bonnie Jean Anderson, preceded Hazel in death. She is survived by her sister, Shirley Hettiger, son, Guy Priest (June), grandsons Gerald (Priska) and Greg, great-grandsons Gavin, Gideon, and Gabriel, and several nieces and nephews.
She enjoyed life and all appreciated her smile and good nature.
A memorial service will be held at the Lebam Community Church Saturday, March 9 at 11 a.m. with lunch following at the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, please make any donations to Willapa Harbor Health and Rehabilitation Center where she was so well cared for (call the Business Office at 360-942-2424 and donate specifically to the "Activity Fund"), or Lebam Community Church (P.O. Box 188, Lebam, WA 98554), her church family for more than 30 years.