Hazel Roberta Smith (nee Oakes)
June 30, 1926 ~ December 2, 2012
Born in Blairmore, Alberta, Hazel grew up in the heart of her little town. Her father, Robert Oakes, was a Fire Boss at the coal mine. Hazel’s mother, Sarah Jane, was a dedicated homemaker and mother. Hazel grew up with her sister Ruth and also had three half-siblings, Jack, Olive and Edna.
Hazel spoke often of her happy childhood and she remembered her school years with fondness. After graduating from Grade 13 in 1945, she worked at Thompson’s Dry Goods and then on March 5, 1946, she married her sweetheart, Joseph Smith from two towns over, Bellevue, Alberta.
They headed for greener pastures – the BC Kootenays, settling in Creston. Joe and Hazel set up house temporarily in the Bide-a-Wee cabins, as they built their home on the Erickson property they called “The Farm”.
They quickly began their family, creating a haven brimming with life. Their six children were born over a span of three decades, ensuring a lively and busy household.
Hazel and Joe dedicated their lives to serve Jehovah in 1955. They firmly believed in a resurrection to a restored paradise earth, which scriptural hope they shared for over 50 years with their neighbours in Creston.
Hazel was an organized housekeeper and was very industrious. She loved to work in her vegetable and flower gardens, taking pride in the things she grew. She spent many hours in her kitchen, cooking delicious meals and baking her favourite goodies. She was famous for her large “family” dinners.
For 44 years of her married life, she was employed for a portion of each year at the fruit-packing shed where she worked efficiently as a packer. Since her husband Joe also worked there, supper table conversations were often filled with packing shed stories. She loved the “Girls” she worked with and spent the last several years of her life visiting many of them at their homes.
Hazel was a loving wife and mother and always had time to listen in spite of how busy she was. She was eager to have fun, whether it was playing a game, going out for a meal or enjoying an outing. She loved to be around people and was sincerely interested in the welfare of others.
Joe and Hazel spent sixty-two years from, 1946 to 2008, in the home they built and the orchard they loved. Due to health concerns, they had to leave their home in March of 2008. They lived briefly in Crest View Village before moving to the Swan Valley Lodge in Creston where Joe passed away in November of 2008. Hazel remained in the tender care of the kind Harris Unit staff until her death.
She will be deeply missed by children David (Cheryl), Robert (Diane), Judy (Robin), Roger (Shelley), Kathy (Greg) and Douglas (Chelsey); grandchildren Andrew, Cadence, Susan, Jason, Joseph (Michelle), Deborah (Devon), Erin (Vance), Willow (Jon), Chelsea (Micah), Logan, Forrest, Austin, Brooke, and Tia; great-grandchildren Spencer, Capri, Sawyer, Hayden, Cole, Lindyn, Rhys, Seth, Shae, Parker and two more on their way.
Psalms 37:11 – “The meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace”