Elvis Lee Hazel
1938 - 2021
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ELVIS LEE HAZEL Elvis Lee Hazel, 82, long-time Chico resident died peacefully at his home on March 9, 2021. Lee's loving wife Carol was at his side, holding his hand. Lee was born September 25, 1938 to Coy and Pearl Hazel of Sikeston, Missouri. At age fifteen, his family moved to California for work. Lee drove most of the journey out west as the Destination Driver. The family settled in southern California where "Butch" as he was known in his youth, attended Torrance High School excelling as the football team's center. Always a hard worker, Lee was employed at the grocery store after school. Enlisting in the United States Army, Lee saw active infantry duty from October 23, 1956 until August 24, 1959, serving in the Company D 899 Tank Battalion as a Specialist 5th Class. He had many stories and recalled his visit to the Costa Brava on the Spanish Riviera with special fondness. Lee continued his service in the Army Reserves until his Honorable Discharge on September 3, 1962 at age 24. Returning to California, Lee began working toward his eventual leadership in the Chico construction industry. In 1965, he and his business partner Chet Dailey purchased Four Counties Roofing and Debco Lumber Products and Roofing Supplies, Inc. Lee obtained his California State Contractor's license for Roofing and as a General Building contractor in 1972, keeping current until his death. Lee obtained exclusive contracts with the State of California for his innovative asphalt emulsion non-slip surfacing for the state's bridges. In 1976, Lee built several commercial office rental buildings in North Chico. Always the consummate business person, Lee completed many hours of Real Estate licensing courses to better his craft. A calculated risk taker with high work standards, Lee retained a sharp mind for numbers and calculations even in his last years. He succeeded in every business venture he owned and stayed active in each of his real estate enterprises until his death. Lee married Sandy Cox, settled in Chico, and raised their two daughters, Teri and Holly. Both girls attended Chico schools, graduating from Chico High School and leaving the area for college pursuits. After many years as friends, Lee married Carol Lynn Kelley on December 28, 2002. The two were inseparable and felt they had finally met their life's perfect partner. When not working together, the two gardened and spent much of their time at Lake Almanor, California relaxing and entertaining family. An avid angler, Lee relaxed for many years fishing on the lake in his Marlin Cuddy Cab boat and later teaching his sons-in-law how to read the lake and catch fish. Summers were special with Lee taking the grandchildren out on the boat and teaching them to wakeboard. As a member of the Butte Creek Country Club, Lee enjoyed many years of golf with friends. Always a craftsperson, Lee spent many hours in his shop woodworking. He created thoughtful, useful wood items for others, large and small. In his later years, Lee loved to bake and was famous for his 'home cooking' which always included his home baked breads, cakes and pies, especially his favorite, pecan pie. Family meals were revered. The life of the party in his younger years, Lee is fondly remembered as a boisterous, gregarious man with humorous sayings. Lee is survived by his wife Carol, his daughters Teri (Mason) Nichols and Holly (Tim) McGowan, sister Donna (Lee) Larsen, Carol's children Kelly Crane and Kristin Baker, grandchildren Hyde Nichols, Kate (Kyle) Poloni, and Michael (Cailyn) Nichols, Robert (Natalie) McGowan, Nicholas and Hope McGowan, Kathryn and Ryan Ward, and Hannah Tebo. Lee was predeceased in death by his parents, his baby brother Coy Jean, and sister Patricia De Leon. A private service was held on March 20, 2021. Donations may be made to the charity of your choice.

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Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Apr. 4, 2021.
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