Hazel Marie (Matzen) Dalbom, daughter of Jim and Ella Matzen, was born at home August 16, 1918 in Viola, Kansas. She died at home August 2, 2020 in Clearwater, Kansas.
Hazel was the second of ten children. She had one older sister, Helen, and eight younger siblings: Jim, Jack, Bill, Peg, Don, Bonnie, Dick and Pat.
Hazel was an excellent student; her parents encouraged her to read and cypher at home. She graduated from Viola High School at 16 and earned a scholarship to Sterling College. Hazel and her dad agreed that she could go to college for two years until she earned her teaching certificate. She would later say the two years at Sterling were among the best of her life, mostly because of the wonderful people she met. At age 18, Hazel taught 23 students across eight grades in a one-room country school. She often would walk or ride a horse to school. During recess, the children played baseball, and Hazel was the pitcher.
Hazel married Dale Dalbom on May 14, 1940 in Winfield, Kansas. Hazel’s parents gave them a milk cow as a wedding present. With help from the bank, milk from the cow, and her $200 teaching savings, they were able to live until they had their first crop. Hazel never considered herself to be a farmer’s wife; she was a farmer. She chuckled when the IRS said it had “determined that she was a farmer.”
Hazel and Dale welcomed three children: Deanna in 1942, John in 1943, and Tim in 1947. They were proud of their children’s achievements, and their concern and love for each other and their families.
In 1958, Hazel started teaching 7th and 8th grade English at Clearwater Elementary. After receiving a BS in Education from Friends University in 1962, Hazel started teaching English at Clearwater High School. She later graduated in 1966 from Wichita State with a Masters in English Literature. In 1972, Hazel was a finalist for the Kansas Master Teacher award. Later in life, she loved nothing more than having one of her former students say “Thank you!” After retirement, Hazel served on the Clearwater School Board from 1977-1989. Hazel appreciated her husband’s encouragement in continuing her education and supporting her teaching career. In fact, she never stopped teaching; she helped local authors edit their manuscripts, and her family could always count on finding cards, letters, and e-mails that had been subjected to her editing pen.
Hazel had many talents and interests. She was an excellent bridge player and was a member of many bridge clubs. She also enjoyed painting, photography, reading, and investing in the stock market. She cared for many family members, both old and young. Hazel was a long time member of the First Baptist Church of Clearwater and was a founding contributor to the educational building. The family loved that the people of Clearwater celebrated Hazel’s 100th Birthday with a Main Street parade.
She was a product of the Great Depression. Everything could be repurposed; Hazel proudly told her grandchildren she was “green” before it was a phrase.
Hazel had good judgement and few biases. She valued hard work and good company. Her family will miss Hazel, especially because of her loving kindness, gentle humor and wise counsel. She was a remarkable lady: an intellect, teacher, writer, farmer, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was a special part of her grandchildren’s lives: All of the grandchildren loved coming to the farm and spending time with their grandparents.
The family would like to thank Sharon Koller and the rest of the caregivers whose loving care allowed Hazel to remain in her home and enjoy life.
Hazel was preceded in death by her husband Dale in 2004. She is survived by three of her siblings: Bonnie Konecny, Bill Matzen and Pat Siemens. She is also survived by her three children: Deanna (Tom Prin) Weeks, John Dalbom, and Timothy (Pam) Dalbom; eight grandchildren: Pam (Pat) Morley, Julie Dalbom, Suzanne (Michael) Thomas, John (Jennifer) Weeks, Christopher (Samantha) Dalbom, Eric Dalbom, Michael (Emily) Dalbom, and Zack (Shana) Dalbom, and fifteen great-grandchildren: Grace, Joe, John, Will, Greta, Erica, Megan, Molly, Isabel, Madelyn, Eli, Miles, Anderson, Stella and Jack.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a private family graveside service will be held. Memorials preferred to the First Baptist Church, Phoenix Home Care and Hospice, and Friends University.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Hazel Marie (Matzen) Dalbom, please visit our floral store.
First Baptist Church - Clearwater
306 E. Ross, Clearwater KS 67026
Phoenix Home Care and Hospice
3450 N. Rock Rd, Bldg 200, Suite 213, Wichita KS 67226
Friends University Scholarship Fund/ University Advancement
2100 W University Ave, Wichita KS 67213