Hazel Bertha (Ary) Bennett went to be with the Lord, peacefully, on Monday evening, April 8, 2013, in West Plains, Missouri. She was born in Oregon County, Missouri, on January 3, 1918, as one of nine children of the late James H. Ary and Leona (Janes) Ary, and was a lifelong resident of Thayer, Missouri.
Hazel was united in marriage at Alton, Missouri, on February 25, 1933, to Donis E. Bennett, a union of love and dedication which thrived for 63 years until his death on May 9, 1996.
She is survived by one son and daughter in-law, Farren E. and Regina Bennett of Feldkirch, Austria, one beloved granddaughter, Rebecca Laura Bennett also of Feldkirch, Austria, two step-granddaughters, Johanna Krecke and Caroline Krecke of Austria, one brother, J.D. Ary of Thayer, and one sister, Mary Lee Parnell of West Plains. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews in whom she took great joy being in their company.
Hazel was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brothers Lawrence Ary, Lehman Ary, Lloyd Ary and Floyd Ary, and sisters Ora Harper and Ola Risner.
A Christian, Hazel was active for many years at the Cane Hill Sunday School near Thayer, and in her later years while still able, she attended Thayer First Baptist Church.
Hazel was highly devoted to her family, helping on the farm and keeping the books. For many years she enjoyed raising a large vegetable garden and cultivating her beautiful flowers. She especially enjoyed hosting frequent, large, family Sunday lunches, which would invariably end with all gathered around the piano singing her treasured gospel hymns.
Her hobbies over the years included quilting, cooking, playing countless card games of pitch as well games of marbles with family. She loved nurturing animals as well as fishing with her late husband.
Not one to travel far from Oregon County, she, Donis and others of her family did spend a time during the Great Depression in Colorado, where she managed a commissary at a camp in the Rockies. This began her life-long tie to family in that state.
Her greatest travel adventure was taking her first airplane flight well into her 80s to visit her son in Europe. She later made the trip alone, after the birth of her granddaughter.
Hazel maintained her own home until age 92. During this time she enjoyed lunch and companionship regularly at the Mammoth Spring Senior Citizens Center.
She spent the last several years of her life at West Vue Nursing Home in West Plains, Missouri, where she loved the nurturing staff and where she will be remembered with love. For a time she was a resident there along with her older and younger sisters. The three “Ary Sisters” were constant companions, reunited again in their twilight years.
On January 3 of this year, Hazel celebrated her 95th birthday with a day out; her favorite lunch followed by birthday cake at her home, surrounded by her son and nieces and nephews.
Hazel will be remembered by family and friends for her faith in God, her instant smiles, her love of giving great big hugs to everyone, her twinkling eyes, and her loving, nurturing and gentle nature.
Funeral Services will be Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer.
The family will receive friends at the Funeral Home in Thayer on Saturday evening, April 13th, from 6:00 until 8:00 PM.
Burial will be in the Thayer Cemetery with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer.