Hazel Gardner passed away peacefully on Friday afternoon, March 29th, with her family at her side. She was 101 years old. Hazel was born on February 25th, 1912 in Mason, Nevada to William W. Davis and Elizabeth Conner Davis. When Hazel was four years old, the family moved to Yerington, just across the Walker River from Mason. There Hazel grew up with her brother Albert and her sister Ruthe. She swam in the Walker River, rode horseback in the hills west of Yerington, and learned to drive when she was 12 (unbeknownst to her father and mother). She saw Charles Lindbergh land at the Yerington airport during his cross-country tour after his record flight across the Atlantic.
Hazel was student body president of Yerington High School and captain of the girls' basketball team for three years. After graduation, she attended the University of Nevada in Reno for three years before succumbing to the charms of tall, handsome Morgan Gardner. They married onAugust 5, 1933 and lived in Reno, where their three children-Carol, Merrie, and Bill were born. They were married for 61 years.
In 1943 the family moved to the Bay Area, first to Millbrae, then San Francisco. Hazel and Morgan had Reno friends who had relocated to Paradise, and after visiting Margaret and Allan there, they fell in love with the pine trees and Butte Creek Canyon and moved there in 1949. Morgan became a real estate broker and Hazel eventually went to work atthe Butte County Welfare Department, first as a social worker and then as a supervisor. She worked there over 20 years and made many close friends among her colleagues.
Hazel's desire to help others showed in her work and also in her volunteering in the community. She, with others, was instrumental in starting Community House in Paradise. She served on the Paradise Council on Aging, which granted her an honorary lifetime membership "in appreciation of many years of contributing toward the betterment of life for older adults within the area served by this council." The Council members also appreciated the delicious cookies she baked and brought to the meetings. She was a member of the board of the Paradise Friends of the Library, a longtime member of the PEO Sisterhood, and a member of Eastern Star for over 75 years.
During their retirement, Hazel and Morgan travelled all over the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, and Guatemala. At home in Paradise, Hazel enjoyed playing bridge, gardening, and reading.
Above all, Hazel enjoyed her children and grandchildren and their friends. She is preceded in death by her husband Morgan, who died in 1994, her granddaughter, Charlotte Brown, her brother, Albert Davis, and her sister, RutheGrubic. She is survived by her children-daughters Carol Gardner (husband George Keithley) of Chico,Merrie McLaughlin (husband Michael) of Paradise, and son Bill Gardner of Forest Ranch; by her grandchildren-Duncan Brown, Lydia Brown, Matthew McLaughlin, Megan McLaughlin, Kate Gardner and Colin Gardner (and their mother, Mandy Gardner); stepgrandchildren-Elizabeth Keithley, Clare Keithley, Chris Keithley (wife Fiona Renton); and great grandsons-Eli and Avi McLaughlin and Ian Keithley. Hazel is also survived by her very good friends, AmyreDeDeaux of Chico,Petria Ingram of Chico,Don Westphal of Paradise, and Lillian Sauter of San Jose.
Hazel had a beautiful smile, a wicked sense of humor, and a genius for friendship, for which she will be remembered and much missed.
The family thanks all the caregivers and other staff at the Courtyard for their kindness,gentleness, and thoughtfulness. We are grateful too toEnloe Hospice for helping our mother through her last hours of life.
Contributions in Hazel's memory may be made to Community House in Paradise, to Paradise Friends of the Library, or to another
A date for Hazel's memorial gathering has yet to be determined. Arrangements entrusted to the Neptune Society of No CA, Chico Branch.