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Published October 29, 2013, 12:00 AM

Hazel Bernice (Larson) Lester

On October 24, 2013, our mother Hazel Bernice (Larson) Lester died at The Oaks Nursing Home in Poteau, Oklahoma. Mom had resided there for the past four years. Prior to moving to OK, mom lived at Webster Manor Senior Living facility in Lisbon, ND. North Dakota was mom’s home and Ransom County was where she wanted to be, close to family and friends, and the homestead where she was born. Her roots were very strong. A few years after our dad, Alonzo, died in 1997, mom moved to Moorhead and lived with her son David for several years. She was able to spend time with daughter Audrey in Colville, WA, son Robert and Alice in Olympia, WA, and Lyle and Joyce in Cameron, OK. When it became apparent mom could not live alone and needed assistance, she moved to Cameron, OK in 2009.

Hazel was born to Henry and Bertina (Opheim) Larson on the family farm in Ransom County on January 24, 1919, the ninth of thirteen children. She attended Owego Country School and Lisbon High School to the 11th grade. On September 13, 1936 Hazel married Alonzo Lester in Moorhead, MN. Seven children were born to this union. Together they worked on farms in North Dakota and Minnesota, and wherever they found work, until moving to California during WW II. After the war, the family moved for a short time to Bremerton, WA, then settled in south Seattle in 1947.

Hazel Bernice (Larson) Lester

On October 24, 2013, our mother Hazel Bernice (Larson) Lester died at The Oaks Nursing Home in Poteau, Oklahoma. Mom had resided there for the past four years. Prior to moving to OK, mom lived at Webster Manor Senior Living facility in Lisbon, ND. North Dakota was mom’s home and Ransom County was where she wanted to be, close to family and friends, and the homestead where she was born. Her roots were very strong. A few years after our dad, Alonzo, died in 1997, mom moved to Moorhead and lived with her son David for several years. She was able to spend time with daughter Audrey in Colville, WA, son Robert and Alice in Olympia, WA, and Lyle and Joyce in Cameron, OK. When it became apparent mom could not live alone and needed assistance, she moved to Cameron, OK in 2009.

Hazel was born to Henry and Bertina (Opheim) Larson on the family farm in Ransom County on January 24, 1919, the ninth of thirteen children. She attended Owego Country School and Lisbon High School to the 11th grade. On September 13, 1936 Hazel married Alonzo Lester in Moorhead, MN. Seven children were born to this union. Together they worked on farms in North Dakota and Minnesota, and wherever they found work, until moving to California during WW II. After the war, the family moved for a short time to Bremerton, WA, then settled in south Seattle in 1947.

Hazel was a homemaker, a devoted wife and wonderful mother to her children. After Alonzo retired in 1972, the family moved to Osage, MN, on a small farm where they grew wonderful vegetable gardens, and enjoyed the surrounding lakes, wild life and all that they had missed since leaving the mid-west. They had found their piece of Heaven.

Our mom was one of those unique mothers, and we’re sure she learned from Grandma Larson, how to make something taste so good from so little. Our parent’s door was always open, the coffee pot always on, and food on the table. One never went away hungry. There was music in our household, and mom could play several instruments as well as sing. Her grandchildren will remember her for the cute little songs she would sing, and make up words when they were forgotten, or just added on to. Mom was an artist, doodling was her pastime while talking on the telephone. The covers of their phone books were a work of art.

Hazel is survived by one sister Nora Ann (Ernest) Carter, Lisbon, ND, six children: Lyle (Joyce) Lester, Cameron, OK, Alan (Joanne) Lester, Fargo, ND, Audrey Staab, Colville, WA, Roger (Pam) Lester, Copley, OH, David Lester, Moorhead, MN, Russell Lester, Dilworth, MN, and daughter-in-law Alice Lester, Olympia, WA. She is also survived by nine grandchildren: Lance (Donna) Dragoo, Craig (Tami) Staab, Lyle Jr. (Sheri) Lester, Dennis (Sandra) Lester, Dean Lester, Tina Lester, Ron (Sally) Lester, Roger Lester, Jr., Robert (Miranda) Lester; and eight great-grandchildren: Amber, Chelsea, Kylie, Dillon, Breanna, Allen, Harmony, and Mathieu; and one great-great-grandson, Kain.

Hazel was preceded in death by husband Alonzo, son Robert, son-in-law Don Staab, two brothers: Alfred and Ole Larson, nine sisters: Julia Gish, Mame Hoaby, Ella Kval, Freda Hoy, baby Anna, Signe Thomason, Nora Larson, Mae Bjorgan, and Emma Holland. Also by three half-brothers: Louie Larson, Pete Thompson, and Julian Larson.

Cremation was handled by Mallory-Martin Funeral Home, Spiro, OK. Urn burial will be at St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery in the Larson family plot, Sheldon, ND. Inurnment is handled by Armstrong Funeral Home in Lisbon, ND. Mom requested no services, however a graveside memorial will be held November 6, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. Those who wish to attend are welcome.

Hazel had a favorite saying she learned as a child, it goes like this: “There is a destiny which makes us brothers, none goes his way alone. All that we put into the lives of other’s, comes back into our own.” We love you mom, and will miss you, but we know you are now truly at peace.

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