Hazel Lunde, age 97, passed away peacefully on August 2, 2017, with Karen and Don by her side. She was born May 27, 1920, to Norwegian immigrants Marthinus and Magna (Aasheim) Sather, and grew up on a dairy farm in rural Oregon. She graduated from Stoughton High School and then received a business degree from Madison Business College.
Perky redhead Hazel met her handsome husband Aaron at the legendary Utica festival. They were married in a joint ceremony with sister Mildred (Walter) Vick on July 3, 1941, and spent 63 years together. She began her work career in Madison, first at Metropolitan Insurance and then Clark’s Clothing. Her full-time job then became caring for sons Marshall and Steve, both born disabled a few years apart. After their passing, Hazel returned to the workforce as a bookkeeper for Jensen Furniture. This ‘shy’ woman found that she not only enjoyed numbers, she had a knack for sales. She formed lasting relationships with her customers over 18 years.
Hazel was a member of Christ Lutheran Church (CLC) for most of her life. She held the church and the friendships made there close to her heart. She was a member of the alter guild and a ‘quilter’. The group made hundreds of quilts over the years for Lutheran World Relief and other charitable organizations. She also looked forward to lefse-baking for church events. Proud of her Norwegian heritage and known as the ‘Lefse Queen’, she passed her techniques down to many CLC members, as well as her nieces. Hazel enjoyed decorating and kept a cozy, welcoming home. She refinished all the woodwork at their Lynn Street home and brought many antique furniture pieces back to their original beauty.
She looked forward to vacationing every summer in Sayner, WI, with the Sather clan. In retirement, the Gold Dust Twins–Hazel and sister Milly–enjoyed many fun-filled trips to Las Vegas. She was a devoted fan of Badger basketball and football, and had a blast when the UW Marching Band visited Skaalen. Special memories were made in her later years on outings with great-grandson Max, including the Wisconsin Dells and fishing at Century Trout Farm.
Hazel is survived by daughter Karen (Don) Nihles of Stoughton; grandsons Tyler and Trent Nihles; great-grandson Max Nihles; sister-in-law Lenore Stai; many wonderful nieces and nephews, including Susan and John; and pup Natalie. In addition to her parents, husband Aaron and sons Marshall and Steve, she was preceded in death by her beloved sister Milly and brothers Melvin, Alfred, Reinhardt and Leonard.
A celebration of Hazel’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 7, at the Skaalen Home Chapel in Stoughton, with Pastor Paula Geister-Jones and Pastor Jim Koza officiating. Friends may call from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. A luncheon will be served in the Friendship Room. For those wishing to make memorial contributions, we suggest Christ Lutheran Church, Skaalen Nursing & Rehab Center, Agrace HospiceCare or, as Hazel love the little ones, any children’s charity of your choice.
Mom’s spirit and motto–‘We’ve got to be tough, we’re Norwegian!’–helped us push through the challenges in life. However, so many kind people have supported her, too. A heartfelt thanks to the Skaalen staff at Heritage and Forest View, along with the new friends she made as a resident, especially dearest Nora. It was difficult for Mom to give up her independence, and you all helped in that transition. The Agrace team was amazing throughout her final journey. ‘Mange tak’ to dedicated visitors Nora, Mary, Audrey, Bill, Barb and Tom. Mom also appreciated the frequent altar flowers delivered by CLC members and their conversations even more. And Don, thank you for everything you were to Mom and are to me.
Rest in peace, my beautiful mother. Dad and the boys have been waiting for you, and you have a lot of catching up to do with Milly!
The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.
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