Gayle Hazelton, age 94, died Monday, October 16, 2017. She was born August 4, 1923, in Glendive, Montana, to Owen and Nettie Carter. She was raised in Blackduck, Minnesota, the middle one of seven girls.
In 1935, the family moved to Hood River, Oregon, and a year later to Ashland, where Gayle graduated high school in 1942. In November of 1942, she married Staff Sergeant John Yakel. In September of 1943, her son, Mick, was born. Her husband was a POW. After he returned they lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, where her daughter Joy was born in December of 1946.
She and her two kids move to Canyonville in 1947. She worked in the dry cleaners, did tailoring work, served cocktails, and was co-owner of a taxi cab in 1952. At age 29, as a single mother, Gayle had saved and manage to purchase property building materials and pay labor to have a house built for her family. She was also one of the original stockholders of South Umpqua Bank in 1955. She married Barney Hazelton, and in 1957, their daughter, Belva, was born. In 1959, they bought Forester's Cafe & Lounge, later to become known as the Snake Pit. She had worked for every owner, and then owned it themselves for 17 years.
Gayle loved her family, believed in working hard, and being kind to others. She never hesitated to help when others needed it. When Joy was in high school she made the cheerleading uniforms and when Mick was in Vietnam, she mailed him the metal files he needed.
She traveled to Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, and Mexico. Her main passions were gardening, sewing, baking, and the porcelain dolls she painted and made clothes for. She was also a hospice volunteer for a few years.
At 80 years old, Gayle drove her older sister to Montana, to visit an aunt. At 86, she planted an eight foot tree by herself the day before breast cancer surgery; she was a breast cancer survivor. At 90, she began her battle with Alzheimer's. She did well with it until a fall left her bedridden for a while. When she could no longer get up and work in the yard or the kitchen, she took a turn for the worse. She was fortunate it was not a long ordeal as some go through.
She is survived by her two daughters, Joy Minnice (Ron) and Belva Button; granddaughter, Jennifer Nordmark; great-grandson, Trey Nordmark; her two adopted grandsons, Mitch and Mark Myers; and granddaughter, Leasa Stephens.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; all six sisters; her son, Mick Yakel; son in law, Mike Button; and granddaughter, Shawna Button.
She was one of a kind who was dearly loved, and will be truly missed and forever in our hearts.
A memorial service is Sunday, November 19, 2017, at 1 p.m. at Mountain View Memorial Chapel, 428 N. Old Pacific Hwy, Myrtle Creek, OR. After the service the family is inviting all who wish to join them for lunch at Dino's, 404 SE Jackson, Roseburg, OR.
Gayle loved desserts, if you'd like, please bring a favorite.