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Hazel Marie (Welder) Graham (2018)


Posted By: Volunteer Transcriber
Date: 9/16/2020 at 11:52:12

Des Moines Register
Des Moines, Iowa
August, 2018

Ames - Hazel Marie Graham, 79, died August 26, 2018 at the Israel Family Hospice House.

Hazel was born on March 3, 1939 to John and Fern (Hougham) Welder. She graduated from Perry High School in 1957; the first of her family. She was a fan of the Statler brothers and knew every word of their song, "Class of 57". She was an excellent cook and won over the heart of Jim Graham. They wed on June 11, 1960. Their union was blessed with three children: Lynda, Suzanne and Michael. Hazel was passionate about sewing, ceramics and collecting. Her talents earned her an Unsung Hero award from the Ames Tribune and the title, The Bunny Lady, for the countless bunnies and dolls she made and donated to hospitals, schools and nursing homes. Her many years of volunteering helped feed the hungry, put smiles on children and redesign Northminster Presbyterian church. Her career spanned from a soda jerk at age 15 earning 40 cents an hour, to a secretary at H & F and advisor to students at Iowa State University. She played a leading role in educating her children - crafting, cooking, fishing, biking and reading. Hazel was a Girl Scout leader for many years. She was an avid athlete who led her team to victory in softball. She survived Soggy Monday on RAGBRAI in 1981, hailed as the worst day ever on the ride. She was nicknamed Minsky after a favorite family Friday night pizzeria, she sewed most of her children's clothing and was a member of the Kate Shelley Doll Club. She was an avid doll and Barbie collector. Husband Jim jokes, "She was a member of the Super Shopper Club of America." She was a woman ahead of her time. In her later years, she loved riding her scooter to the mall to meet her grandkids for shopping. They hold fond memories of her playing board games and crafting. She occupied herself with reading, solitaire, word find books and listening to her bible on tape.

Hazel is preceded in death by her parents, step father, Bob, brothers Ed and Jim. Survived to cherish her memory include devoted husband, Jim, brothers Don, Bill, three children, Lynda (Matt Murray), Suzi (Mike Rickels), Michael (Heather Graham), and six grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 30 with visitation one hour prior at Northminster Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to Northminster Presbyterian Church and The Bunny Lady Lending Library.

Adams Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.adamssoderstrum.com


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