Funeral services for Hazel G. Christ, 92, were conducted by Pastor Steven Frock on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, at 1 p.m. at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira. Interment was in the Atlantic Cemetery in Atlantic. The casket bearers were Ronald Christ, George Christ, Alex Christ, Benjamin Christ, Gary Riley, and Ronald Barkey. The family met with friends Wednesday evening Oct. 3 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. with an Eastern Star Service at 6:30 p.m. at the Kessler Funeral Home in Exira.
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Hazel Geneva Christ, the daughter of George and Anna (Harrison) Riley, was born Nov. 10, 1917, in Corning, and died September 27, 2012, at the Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, at the age of 94 years, 11 months, and 17 days.
Hazel was baptized and confirmed at the Methodist Church in Prescott. She attended the Prescott Community Schools graduating with the High School Class of 1935. Hazel then attended the Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, where she graduated in 1939 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Education. Hazel moved to Wiota, where she was the commercial education teacher.
On Oct. 4, 1941, she was united in marriage to Arnold M. Christ in St. Joseph, Mo. Three children Ronald, George, and Catherine were born to this union. Arnold was inducted into the U.S. Navy during World War II and Hazel continued teaching. Arnold was honorably discharged and returned to Wiota where he resumed his administrative duties for the school system. During this time Hazel enjoyed chaperoning the successful girls basketball teams which Arnold helped coach. In 1955, they moved to Exira, where Arnold was the Superintendent of Schools. Arnold died suddenly Jan. 1, 1957. For several years Hazel was employed as the secretary at the Exira Lutheran Church. She returned to the University of Northern Iowa and received her certification in Library Science. Hazel took the position as the Librarian for the Exira Community Schools from 1970 until she retired in 1982. During her retirement she traveled the world extensively with the Friendship Force which gave her the opportunity to stay in private homes in the many countries they visited.
Hazel was a member of the Exira Lutheran Church and the Church Women's Circle. She was a member of the Fine Arts Club, Study Club, Retired Teachers, several bridge clubs, and other organizations. She was a fifty-year member of Exodus Chapter 313 Order of the Eastern Star in Exira. Hazel had always been an avid supporter of the Exira Schools and the Exira Community. She enjoyed reading daily papers, working in her garden, walking, and being with friends. Most of all she enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren. Even though she was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, Hazel continued to live life to its fullest.
Hazel was preceded in death by her husband Arnold Christ; her parents; her brother Melvin and wife Earnestine Riley, her sister Mabel and husband Gerald Sperry; her mother-in-law and father-in-law Leonard and Minnie Christ; her sisters-in-law Eileen and husband Walter Sohn, Arvilla and husband Richard Weinkauf, and brother-in-law Norman Christ.
Survivors include her children Ronald and wife Martha Christ of Vallejo, Calif., George and wife Julie Christ of Windsor Heights and Catherine Christ and husband Ronald Barkey of Des Moines; her grandchildren Alex Christ of Mountain View, Calif., Benjamin Christ of Durango, Colo., and Lauren Barkey of Des Moines; her nephew Gary and wife Kim Riley of Prescott: her niece Rochelle Wickwire of Buffalo Center; cousins; other relatives and friends.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the family. Online condolences at www.kesslerfuneralhomes.com.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL on Oct. 5, 2012