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MacLEAN, Hazel Alice (nee Van Petten)

January 13, 1919 – Rosalind, AB
February 19, 2014 – Calgary, AB

Hazel MacLean of Calgary passed away on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at the age of 95 years.

Hazel’s life journey began in her grandparents house in Rosalind in Alberta’s parkland, the daughter of pioneer farmers to the area. That journey was filled with a tremendous number of accomplishments and service to others. She never forgot her farm background and was thrilled to learn that the farm she grew up on is celebrating its 100th anniversary in the family this year. Her many Van Petten nieces and nephews will always remember “Auntie”. She learned frugality during the hard times of the depression, but was always ready to extend a helping hand or a charitable donation. Mom trained and worked as a teacher, but she was also a lifelong learner, revelling in new things like sudoku or mastering oil painting and tole art after retirement. She was a regular winner in the art competitions at the Calgary Stampede. She also learned some of the sad lessons of life, being predeceased by an infant daughter Penelope, and by the early death of the love of her life, Murray MacLean. She faced these things with hard work, and the fortitude that so characterized her. Hazel worked for many years for the Canadian Cancer Society and retired as Calgary District Secretary. She exercised her interest in politics as a founding member of the Reform Party.

Mom loved to travel, visiting Europe, Australia, the Canadian Arctic, and was very proud of driving a motor home all over the USA, to Alaska, and up the dreaded Bella Coola hill with her second husband Sid. Hazel was fiercely independent, living in her own home until her 94th year and was the “go to” person for the history of Hounsfield Heights where she had lived since 1947 . The accomplishments of her children and grandchildren gave her great joy.

Hazel’s journey is now ended, leaving all of us better for her intelligence, love, dedication and example. We’ll always be grateful to have shared some of that journey with her.

Hazel is survived by three daughters and two sons-in-law, Allison and Howard Chase, Heather MacLean and Jim Wahl, and Laurie MacLean; three grandchildren, Lindsay Chase, Susan Chase and Jon Wahl. She is also survived by a sister-in-law Gladys Van Petten and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Hazel was predeceased by an infant daughter Penelope, first husband Murray MacLean and her second husband Sid Nystrom.

A Celebration of Hazel’s life will be held at Parkdale United Church (2919 – 8th Avenue N.W.) on Friday, February 28, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Hazel MacLean, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, Telephone: 403-276-2296.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Shirley Hessler :

    On behalf of my sisters and I, we would like to send our condolences in remembrance of the remarkable life of Aunt Hazel. She lived life to the fullest and was very involved in all aspects of her life. Over the last number of years I have very much enjoyed my Christmas letter from her.

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  2. My heart felt condolences to all the family. I have fond memories of both Hazel and Murray
    from 50 years ago and their fun filled support, advice and encouragement for our folk-singing
    comedy group with Allison. Hazel was also a good friend with my mother when they lived in the same appartment building in the 70’s. Hazel lived a full and giving life and will be truly missed and fondly remembered.

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  3. Wanda Ann (Huston) Veer :

    This is really a voice from the past. I was a boarder at Murray and Hazel’s house when I started university at U of C. Actually it was U of A at Calgary then. Hazel was an amazing house mother. I couldn’t help but appreciate her tenderness for Murray, and her obvious pride in each of her daughters. Their activities and successes were of utmost importance to her. She treated Gloria and I very well… always welcomed with a smile. My greatest memory is that she ALWAYS Appeared each morning dressed to greet guests. Hair done, make up on, dress, apron, stockings… and a smile on her face. How I have fallen from this wonderful example. I was pleased to hear about all her life successes and journeys even after losing Murray at such a young age. To Allison, Heather, and Laurie… you had a great teacher.

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  4. Hjordis Yeates :

    My sincere sympathy to the family of Hazel MacLean.
    Hazel and I met many years ago at a painting class and became good friends who enjoyed numerous hours painting together both at her home and mine. She was a treasured friend!

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  5. Heather Thompson :

    There are so few people I have known throughout my entire life, Hazel was one. I have many lovely memories of Hazel, sharing her garden, art, stories, and many a family visit, but perhaps my fondest was from my youth, attending her annual Christmas party. She always made it an affair to look forward to, a great spread, punch, a dress up occasion for family and friends, Tinker tucked away in the wings to visit with, and even when Marshal and I accidently dumped one her fabulous cakes upside down in the sink, a great hostess! My sincere condolences to all her family .

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  6. Carol MacArthur :

    My sincere condolences Allison, Heather and Laurie on your mother’s passing. I drove up 15th street the other day and wondered if your mom was still with us. I am sad to know she isn’t. I have such great memories of ‘Mrs. Declean’ Playing tag with you girls running through her snowy white sheets hanging on the line is one that really sticks with me. She didn’t yell at us to stop, she would just call us inside for a snack or to play dolls or do a puzzle until the sheets were dry and safely inside. We were getting sunburned anyway. I would often sit on the step stool in the kitchen talking about stuff kids talk to neighbour ladies about. She was a great listener. She made us pancakes like Mickey Mouse, elephants and butterflies. She sometimes drove us to school in the winter and always got us there safely and on time. She was bright, kind, cheerful, understanding and patient. A wonderful woman!

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