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Mrs. Dorothy Link Hazel

Obituary for Mrs. Dorothy Link Hazel

March 10, 1937 - February 11, 2018
Parma, Ohio | Age 80

Beloved Wife, Loving Mother, Dear Sister, and Cherished Aunt, Cousin & Friend of Many


Dorothy Link Hazel, age 80, of Parma, Ohio, departed this life on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at Seasons of Life Hospice.
Dorothy leaves her loving husband of 56 years, Irvin Ellsworth Hazel, a retired director of personnel and employee relations; sons John M. Hazel, a national park interpretive ranger in Morristown, New Jersey, and Dr. Mark W. Hazel, (Kate) a university medical researcher in Salt Lake City, Utah; brother David H. J. Link (Constance) of Steamboat Springs, Colorado; sisters Henrietta Link Schwartz (Eugene) of Greencastle, Indiana, and Helene Link Dreibelbis of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky; sister-in-law Cynthia Hazel Arnholt (Earl) of Valley City, Ohio; cousins, nieces, nephews, and many good friends.

Nestled at the foot of the surrounding hills and across the Ohio River from Wheeling, West Virginia, lay the small town of Bridgeport, Ohio, where Dorothy Rachel Link was born on March 10, 1937, to Reverend John Frederick Link and Helen Nast Link. Her family already included two girls—and Dorothy made it three.

Three years later, Dorothy's family moved a little north to Dillonvale, another small Ohio town with a total population then of nearly 1000, where nearly everyone earned a living by coal mining. Too young to attend school, she played at home, learned to embroider, and enjoyed the outdoors.

Following a brief residence in Dillonvale, Dorothy's family moved to Uhrichsville, Ohio, for five years where she received an excellent education during her early years at the nearby elementary school. There her brother, David, was born to an adoring family, especially his three sisters. In Uhrichsville, young Dorothy formed life-long memories of World War II: Children carried scrap metal to school; during nighttime air raid drills, wardens patrolled throughout the city making sure no lights could be seen; Dorothy's family often drove to the nearby Dennison train depot where local church groups greeted soldiers headed overseas with coffee and doughnuts as ministers offered them pocket-size New Testaments. When the war ended, car horns blared joyously while Dorothy watched her neighbor, who had four sons in the war, wipe his eyes—knowing that his youngest son would not be returning.

Having already spent several summers with her grandparents in Cincinnati, Ohio, and loving what a big city could provide, Dorothy was excited to move to the Cleveland area along beautiful Lake Erie to a city that provided wonderful libraries and museums. Her family enjoyed their Garfield Heights parsonage with its large back yard and plenty of space for her father's annual vegetable garden.

After five years, Dorothy's family moved to Cleveland's West Side where she graduated from West High School, enjoying her years there more than at any other school she had attended. She sang with the Choral Club, joined the German and Latin Clubs, and played a role in the senior class play. Her Class of 1955 holds a yearly reunion luncheon each summer.

Dorothy took piano lessons from age seven until beginning high school. Loving music and always wanting to play the organ, she was delighted to learn her father's new church had a pipe organ, so she soon began organ lessons at Baldwin- Wallace Conservatory. Eventually she became the organist at Trinity Methodist Church for three years.

While a high school and college student, Dorothy saved money for college by working in the Mortgage Loan and Escrow Departments of Women's Federal Savings & Loan Association in downtown Cleveland during summer and holiday vacations. She majored in English and minored in music at Baldwin-Wallace College.

The next church her father pastored was Fields Methodist in North Ridgeville; fortunately, she was able to continue commuting to Baldwin-Wallace College. In a final move with her family, Dorothy moved to a church near Amherst, Ohio.

Following her graduation from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1959, Dorothy taught junior high English in the Olmsted Falls School District. Three years later, she accepted a junior high teaching position at Parma's new Greenbriar Junior High School.

Dorothy and Irv met at the Coed Class of Lakewood Presbyterian Church, and they were married by her father on April 15, 1961, at Lindsay-Crossman Chapel of Baldwin-Wallace College. Dorothy and Irv settled in Parma, Ohio—and never ever moved again! With their two young sons and a pop-up camper, they enjoyed many camping trips visiting museums, historic sites, and parklands throughout the United States and parts of Canada. She continued to enjoy walks in the outdoors, travel to a number of countries, many good books, beautiful music, her loving family, wonderful friends, and her long-time associations at Ridgewood United Methodist Church.

An active charter member of the Builders Class of Ridgewood United Methodist, whose members have been together for over 50 years, Dorothy served on a variety of church committees, became the Assistant Church Organist, loved to play beautiful hymns and arrangements—and easy listening music—and sang for many years with the Chancel Choir.

After teaching English for nearly three years at Parma's Greenbriar Junior High School, and expecting the first of her two sons, Dorothy suspended her teaching to be with her family. Eleven years later when she was ready to return to her career, English teaching positions in the Parma schools were filled. As a result, she began courses at Cleveland State University for a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis on learning disabilities courses while tutoring students at Parma's Shiloh Junior High School. Later she resumed teaching at Shiloh Junior High full-time, and soon taught at Hillside Junior High. Finally, she transferred to Thoreau Park Elementary School teaching fifth and sixth grade learning disabled students for the balance of her 30-year teaching career.

Dorothy served for six years on the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District's Board of Supervisors whose mission is to conserve land and water resources. As an Associate Supervisor, she represented Cuyahoga SWCD on the Cuyahoga County Natural Resources Assistance Council with ten other members evaluating and recommending Clean Ohio conservation grant proposals for the acquisition and protection of natural areas or open spaces throughout the County.

For over 20 years, Dorothy represented West Creek Conservancy at Parma City Council meetings, and in January 2008, the Parma Council and Mayor recognized her as "Citizen of the Month." In 2013, she was honored to receive the "Conservationist of the Year" award from the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District.

In 1998, Dorothy and Irv joined a West Creek grassroots group organizing to save a nearby Parma greenspace from development. After her retirement in 2000, her continuing concern for the ongoing loss of greenspace and degradation of God's creation prompted her to serve with Irv on the Board of Directors of West Creek Conservancy to continue to assemble the land for Cleveland Metroparks West Creek Reservation. She consistently encouraged others to support conservation organizations. On the website of West Creek Conservancy, Dorothy states: "Because our lives depend on the health of the natural environment, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of Earth's resources—to support preservation and conservation, to connect people to nature with trails, and to embrace restoration of land, streams and habitat in order to create livable communities. We can all make a difference."

Friends are invited to an 11:00 A.M. visitation followed by a 12:00 Noon Celebration of Life service on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at Ridgewood United Methodist Church, 6330 Ridge Road, Parma, Ohio 44129. Rev. Karen L. Wolcott, and Rev. James D. Longsworth, will officiate. Private interment will be at The Memorial Garden at Chautauqua Park, Lakeside, Ohio. Memorial gifts may be made to West Creek Conservancy, P.O. Box 347113, Cleveland, Ohio 44134.


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Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

7501 Ridge Road
Parma, OH 44129
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