Hazel Barrow Reiner
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Jan. 3, 1916 - Oct. 25, 2012
Hazel Barrow Reiner passed away Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, at her home in the St. John's Retirement Village in Woodland at the age of 96. She was born on Jan. 3, 1916, to Arthur Bennett Barrow and Mardie Padgett Barrow in Statesville, NC.
Hazel's parents had passed away when she was a teenager and she had to leave school to help support her brothers and sister by working in a textile mill. She continued to work in the mill as a seamstress through the early 1940's until her brother, Arnold "Ben" Barrow, personally brought her out to Southern California to seek a new life. Hazel had trained to be a secretary but had an excellent mind for business and took courses at USC in Los Angeles. She started with Republic Heater Corporation in 1951 and soon rose through the ranks to director and vice president of purchasing. Hazel was part of a group at Republic Transcon Industries called the "Petticoat Management Team" that consisted of all women executives working for the owner where she had a strong influence on the company growing into the largest water heater manufacturer in the world in the 1950s-1960s.
Hazel had a wonderful business career that took her to many locations and she met many fascinating people. At the prime of her career, she met and fell in love with Harry Reiner, a retired naval officer. Harry worked at the Lockheed Skunk Works in Palmdale and was one of the key team members of the specially selected group by Kelly Johnson to develop the SR-71 Blackbird Mach 3 Reconnaissance airplane. They spent many wonderful years together traveling between their homes in San Bernardino and Moses Lake, Wash. Several years after Harry passed away in 1990, Hazel moved to Woodland and has been living at the St. John's Retirement home where she could be close to her brother, Ben Barrow, and his family.
Hazel is survived by her niece, Pamela Barrow Lynn and her husband Patrick of Sacramento, her nephew, Jeffrey Barrow and his wife Starr of Woodland, and by numerous great, and great-great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Harry Reiner, her parents Arthur and Mardie Barrow, her brothers Worth Barrow and Arnold "Ben" Barrow, sister Ruth Barrow Davis, sister-in-law Pat Barrow, and nephew Michael Davis. The family of Hazel would like to express their gratitude to the caring staff at St. John's and the wonderful volunteers at Citizens' Who Care, especially Susie McGibbon and Joanne Bell.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Neptune Society. The family is planning a private family memorial.
Published in Daily Democrat from Nov. 3 to Dec. 1, 2012