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Hazel Hall

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26 March 1913 - 14 August 2009

Hazel Hall lived a life beautifully lived.

“She seemed to have an open door policy in her heart for everyone,” as one friend said. “Most of us open a few of our doors to a few people. Hazel seemed to open all her doors of her heart to all people. Her heart was like the door of her home. It was not locked.”

Dorothy Hazel Hall was born in Kansas in 1913. Unlike that other Dorothy, she had no desire to find her way back after she discovered a place called Sandpoint, Idaho. She arrived in Sandpoint on January 3, 1932, with her new husband, Ross Hall, and never moved away. For 77 years she entered into community affairs. She was there with friends at the beginning of many small events that eventually became cornerstones in the community.

Sandpoint Mayor Gretchen Hellar said, ”She was one of the truly admirable citizens. She represented to me what the ideal Sandpoint resident is.” Those words probably represented well what Hazel’s previous 20-plus mayors might have said about her.

Walking, hiking, plants, flowers, the outdoors, kids, dogs, fun, companionship. All of these seemed to combine in the recently completed Hazel Hall Children’s Garden. Volunteer-friends in the community arranged to place it in the Healing Garden, next to Bonner General Hospital

Hazel and her husband started the Ross Hall Studio in 1938. They went on to build a thriving photography business. Many of the best photos can still be seen at the Hallans Gallery, founded by their son, Dann.

Many Ross Hall photos have her prominently displayed. Ross was in love with her for the full 58 years they were married. She was both his posing and hiking companion on many photo shoots. Ross Hall died in 1990.

She kept on enjoying the outdoors, and finally stopped skiing at Schweitzer Mountain in 1997 at age 84.

Her passing was swift and peaceful. She had a heart attack on Wednesday morning, and was rushed to the hospital by a concerned friend who had spent the night with her. Her family talked to her briefly as she maintained, “I’m all right.” She saw some of her closest friends the next day. She then passed away at high noon on Friday, August 14, 2009, age 96 1/2 years. She now resides in Heaven with her beloved Lord, Jesus Christ.

She loved her family and her family loved her. Her son Dann said, ”She was an embracing mother and a remarkable human being. Her life was lived in complete fullness thanks to her many cherished and loving friends, all of whom were a reflection of her own boundless gusto for life.”

Her other son, R. Ross simply said, “We know having her as a mother gave us “A Wonderful Life.” His wife, Leslie, Hazel’s daughter-in-law of 42 years, called her “Hazel-mom.” “She was the perfect mother-in-law, a friend and mentor and fun to be with. Her friends wouldn’t be surprised to know that, among her personal things, I found clown noses, crazy glasses, fake buck teeth, and goofy hats.”

Her daughter Loyce stated “She wasn’t the perfect mother, you know. She had this annoying habit of always looking younger than me!” Loyce provided Hazel with the great joy of her first grandson, Britt Haslow. Britt lives in Palatine, Ill., with his wife, Karen and their son, Logan.

Ross and Leslie have two children, Jonna Weber and Jordan Ross Hall. Jonna lives in Boise with her husband, Reed Weber. They have two children, Alec, 8, and Charly, 6. Jordan lives in Phoenix, Ariz., with his wife, Amanda, and 16-month-old daughter, Lilly.

Hazel was able to enjoy being with them all “one more time” just last month.

In addition to the immediate family, she is survived by several nephews and nieces and their families living in Idaho, Washington, New Mexico, California, Nebraska, Utah and Texas as well as countless friends who will miss her.

Friends of Hazel will be hosting a Hazel Hall Community Event in the fall. The date will be announced later. Donations can be made, in Hazel’s honor, to Kinderhaven, the Children’s Healing Garden and Women Honoring Women of Wisdom.

Read "A Life Beautifully Lived" here.

Read Sandy Compton's memory of one encounter with Hazel Hall here.

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