Hazel Marie (Nelson) Hendrickson

08/02/1929 — 08/03/2022

From Kennewick, WA | Born in Brighton, CO

Hazel Marie (Nelson) Hendrickson

Hazel Marie (Nelson) Hendrickson of Kennewick passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. Hazel’s passing came just a day after her 93rd birthday, an occasion celebrated with love and affection by her family.

Hazel was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Ellis G. Hendrickson; grandson, Christopher Nelson; her parents; and her eight siblings. She is survived by her son, Bruce Hendrickson and wife Deborah (Seattle); her daughter, Kathy (Hendrickson) Staly and husband Tom (Kennewick); grandchildren, Rachael (Nelson) Gieseke and husband Ryan (Yakima), Reed Hendrickson and wife Kelsey (Seattle), Kathryn Hendrickson (Seattle), and Elliott Hendrickson (Seattle); and many extended family members in the U.S. and Scandinavia.

Hazel was born on August 2, 1929, in Brighton, Colorado. She was a first generation American and the eighth of nine children born to her Swedish immigrant parents, Charles and Martha Nelson. Hazel spent her early childhood helping her family keep its farm afloat during the Great Depression. That tough environment inspired the grit that was one of Hazel’s distinctive qualities. Following high school graduation, Hazel attended a one-year business training course while working to support herself. After receiving her diploma, she set off for the promise of professional opportunity at the Hanford Project in Richland, Washington. While living in a Hanford dormitory and working in the payroll office, she met many lifelong friends and established the Tri-Cities as her beloved home. Hazel met her soon-to-be husband Ellis at the local grocery, where he worked as a butcher. Their marriage and family life provided many years of happiness and adventure. They were avid campers, boaters, snow skiers, and water skiers. They loved taking vacations and cruises with friends and family with destinations including Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Panama Canal, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, Arizona, and Alaska. They always had a little pet chihuahua as a treasured companion and instilled a love of animals in their children and grandchildren.

Hazel was a fastidious homemaker, shrewd bridge player, and slots enthusiast. Most of all, she was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend.

Hazel’s family has chosen a private remembrance of Hazel’s life. She will be laid to rest at Einan’s at Sunset Gardens next to her husband, Ellis, and grandson, Christopher. Arrangements are under the direction of Einan’s.

Memorial remembrances can be made to Shriners Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington – a charitable cause that touched Hazel’s heart.

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  • A friend just sent a picture this morning of her photograph of girls sitting on the old beat up school porch reading books from 1939. This photograph reminds me of Hazel’s last story she share with me with Kathy. Hazel spoke of Lucille asking Hazel, “How did you ever get to liking books, when I never had any books to read?. Hazel said, she didn’t know, but she always liked books. This little snippet of history brings out how far the three girls have gone and made it through the challenges of the Great Depression and how their hard work continued to keep them in good stead with raising their children with quality life. Hazel also shared on another occasion how far she had to walk with large metal pails of water in both hands which almost cut through the skin. This was done daily so her mother could prepare breakfast for 9 child. These difficult moments brings out the strength and endurance and a way that one just continued to thrive no matter what the odds. She endure over 40 years of a serious health problem and wished this promise on my life which was the most dearest words anyone has ever said to me. She had a tender heart and cared deeply. My best to both Kathy and Bruce and Rachael and the other family members

    Cynthia Sue Rydgren
    August 20, 2022
    Kent Washington
  • Hazel was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met and I was so lucky to have had her as a neighbor and friend while growing up in Richland. I have so many great memories of ski trips, boating and other activities with the Hendrickson’s that I will cherish forever. My deepest sympathies to Bruce and Cathy and the entire Hendrickson family.

    Todd Erickson
    August 10, 2022
    Somerset, KY
  • My wonderful aunt was a cherished part of our lives from my childhood to and including our grandgirls. There will never be another Hazel…and she will forever be in our hearts. Roxanne and Family.

    Roxanne McMullin
    August 10, 2022
    Gladstone Oregon
  • Hazel shared a birthday with my dad, Harry Preston. He and Ellis, as well as Hazel, were good friends. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I lost my mom in May, and even knowing they lived long, full lives doesn’t make it any easier. My prayers are with your family at this time.

    Linnea Preston
    August 10, 2022
    Shoreline, WA
  • So sorry for your loss.
    Hazel was a very special person. She was kind, thoughtful, interesting, intelligent, adventurous, generous and a hard worker.
    She will be missed by all who knew her.

    Terri Hansen
    August 9, 2022
    Richland