Nov 262012

Hazel Irene West, 93, of Payson died on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, in Snowflake. The funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24, at Owens Livingston Mortuary-Heritage Chapel, located at 84 E. 19th South in Snowflake, where the visitation will begin one hour prior. The concluding service and interment will immedi-ately follow at the R.V. “Mike” Ramsay Memorial Cemetery in Snowflake.
She was born in Boone, Iowa, on June 28, 1919, the oldest of seven children born to the late Lloyd and Flor-ence Kern.
Her family later moved to Hobbs, N.M., where she met and married Fred West, a marriage that would last 61 years. Two sons were born in Hobbs and, when the youngest was a one year old, they relocated to Clifton. There she became a telephone operator for Mountain Bell, starting a career that would span 29 years until her retirement in Phoenix in 1981.
After she retired, she and Fred moved to Payson, where they would spend their remaining years.
After her husband’s passing, Hazel began to involve herself in various charities, something of which she was very proud. She participated in candlelight walks to benefit cancer research, and loved to tell people that she was the oldest person in the group. She also volunteered for 13 years at Time Out in Payson, and received numerous awards for her service there. Perhaps her proudest accomplishment was making baby booties and caps for the Layette Program of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which presented her with a certificate of appreciation at a ceremony in San Diego, Calif., in 2006.
After her health began to decline she moved to an assisted living facility in Snowflake, where she was living at the time of her death.
Survivors include her sons, Fred (Tony) West of Snowflake and Bob (Rose) West of Safford; seven grand-children; 18 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and two sisters.
In addition to her parents and husband, Hazel was preceded in death by four brothers.