Hazel Thompson was born in Wheatland, Wyoming on April 21, 1919, to Ralph and Mary Carey, who homesteaded and farmed wheat on the prairie in the southeastern part of that State. She and her five brothers and two sisters knew a difficult life in those days, living in a sod house and then a one bedroom home, enduring droughts, blizzards and financial hardship. Yet when she talked about those times she would tell you what good times they were and how amazing it was to see her father carve a farm out of that harsh land and make a home that was warm, safe, and happy. |
She finished 8th Grade in a one-room school house, then at age 14 left the farm and lived with a family in Wheatland where she worked as a dishwasher in the Wheatland General Hospital. Later, Hazel was able to attend high school in Cheyenne.
It was at that time, in 1938, that she met Doyle Thompson, a young soldier at Ft. Warren Army Post. They were married July 1 of that year. This began 17 years of military life, through World War II and the Korean Conflict, while raising babies, and moving many times. Later assignments took them to New Mexico, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, and Maine.
While stationed in Bangor, Maine, Doyle felt called to the ministry, and upon his military retirement in 1956, the family moved back to South Dakota where he began preparing for ministry. He was ordained into the Assemblies of God and pastored churches in Glendo, Worland and Buffalo, Wyoming and in Deadwood and Rapid City, South Dakota.
Being a pastor's wife was a great challenge for Hazel, but she met the church people, especially the children and teenagers, with love and caring. She taught Sunday School, created Vacation Bible Schools, organized youth camps, and led women's groups. A reluctant public speaker, she never failed to move audiences with her humble attitude and genuineness of heart.
With her children grown and Doyle in a ministry of evangelism, Hazel fulfilled a life-long dream of being a nurse. She quickly completed the requirements for the GED and entered a program for Licensed Practical Nursing in Denver, from which she graduated, at the age of 48, as the honor student. In the next few years, she worked in a nursing home in Rapid City, South Dakota, while Doyle continued his evangelistic work.
They retired to Clovis in 1977 and were active in Bethel Assembly of God and First Assembly of God in Portales. Hazel taught Sunday School and Children's Church, was President of the Women's Ministry, and volunteered as an English tutor for foreign wives in the area. Her greatest delight was to make quilts and to give them away, especially to new babies.
Her children and grandchildren will tell you about a strong, loving woman who was always optimistic, always making the best out of a bad situation, and always trusting in God. She was the heartbeat of the home, and a woman always full of grace. Her Bible was worn and her prayer list long. A woman who always thought she should have done more, never comprehending the many lives she had touched and changed, has met the One who said, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
She will be always loved and greatly missed by her brother Kenneth, in Lander, Wyoming; by her children and their spouses, Ben and Ruth Thompson of Ragley, Louisiana; Doug and Joyce Stoddard of Clovis and Bob and Jean Thompson or Keaau, Hawaii; her grandchildren, Jana, Keith and Eric Stoddard, Stacy Simon, Jill Rogers, and Kerri Vinson, and Rachel Thompson; her great-grandchildren Amanda and Logan, Ben, Sean, Evan and Ian, Jenna, Eric and Katheryn, Taylor and Kayley, Mario, Cristin and Jessica, and her great-great-grandchildren, Kelli, Baylin, and Sawyer.
Services will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 5, 2010, at Bethel Assembly of God in Clovis with Pastor Lemuel Perry officiating. Burial will follow at Lawn Haven Memorial Gardens.
Arrangements are by Steed-Todd Funeral Home, 800 E. Manana, Clovis, New Mexico 88101, 575-763-5541. You may visit www.steedtodd.com to post online tributes.