Hazel Arnold Nordquist
Born June 6th 1920 in Boyceville, Wisconsin, our mother passed away peacefully in Bemidji on Wednesday March 18th 2009, with her four children at her side.
Hazel came to Bemidji in 1924 and was adopted by Elizabeth and Francis Arnold. The Arnolds had moved to Bemidji from Washington, D.C., and Hazel was proud that Francis' father, Jay Arnold, was the "Grand Marshal" of Abraham Lincoln's funeral.
Hazel graduated from B.H.S. in 1939 and attended Bemidji State College from 1937 to 1939. She attended the University of Minnesota from 1939 to 1941 before graduating from Bemidji State in 1961 with a B.S. degree in Education with a minor in Music.
While in her early 20's living in Minneapolis, Hazel worked as the Executive Secretary to a member of the McMillan family, owners of Cargill Grain Company.
After her marriage in 1944 to Irvin Nordquist, they moved to Boston, Massachusetts where Irvin pursued a career with the Boston Opera Company. While starting to raise their family, Hazel also worked as an Executive Secretary for the wool importers of Robert S. Fish and Company. Hazel and Irvin enjoyed many weekends at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts where Irvin performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
They moved back to Bemidji in 1954 and lived at the home where Hazel grew up in on Beltrami Avenue. While Hazel was finishing her college degree, she helped Irvin build and operate the Coachman Café in downtown Bemidji from 1960 to 1968.
After student teaching at Bemidji Jr. High school, Hazel held full-time positions teaching English and Literature at Cass Lake, McIntosh, and Laporte high schools. After their home was destroyed by fire in 1968, the family moved to Hopkins, MN, where Hazel became the first woman and first Protestant teacher at Cretin Military/College Preparatory High School in St. Paul, MN.
Hazel served her family, community and students well by volunteering in many community organizations, including: The League of Woman Voters, Drama coach, Sunday School Teacher, Librarian, and Deacon of the Presbyterian Church.
Hazel and family have fond memories of "reeling in those walleyes" on opening weekend at Waskish on Red Lake. She was an avid bridge player, as "deal-em" was her mantra! No one loved Christmas more than Hazel and she really knew how to make the holidays special in every way. We all had the pleasure of viewing old home movies together this past year during Christmas 2008!
Hazel also enjoyed her quilting class, berry picking at Bass Lake, making wine and jelly and sharing nature with her grandchildren. We will all miss her very much and can still smell her homemade pies, bread and elaborate dinners.
Hazel attended Sunday school, grew up, and was married in her beloved First Presbyterian Church in downtown Bemidji. She loved the church and friends and clergy who were so good to her there. Late in her life, Hazel was a daily visitor of Raphael's Bakery and called the place "her second home". Our family is so very grateful for the kindness and generosity of her Raphael's friends and to the Sweeny family and their employees.
Hazel is preceded in death by her parents, Francis Spinner Arnold and Elizabeth Ridenour Arnold, and her husband Irvin Joseph Nordquist.
Survived by daughters Holly Nordquist and Susan Hoganson, both of Bloomington, MN, and sons Carl (Teri) Nordquist of Bemidji and Peter (Laurie) Nordquist of Edina, MN. Also survived by Grandchildren Tracy (Eddie) Hoganson-Near, Alicia (Paul) Fingal, Angela (Adam) Gatzke, Nicholas Nordquist, Elizabeth, John & Paul Nordquist and great-grandchildren, Breanna, Brittany and Bethany Fingal and Fauna Hoganson-Near; first cousin, Robert (Alma) Scharf of Colorado Springs, Co. and brother-in-law Gene Nordquist of Canby, Mn.
Pallbearers: Dane Nordquist, Palmer Berg, Charles Powell, Timothy Terres, Edward Near & John Lindquist.
Honorary Pallbears: Scott Nordquist, Romaine Powell, Peter Terres, Bill Tibbets, Erik Thorson and Dick Dickinson.
Funeral Services will be 2:00 PM, Saturday, March 21, 2009 at First Presbyterian the Rev. James De Smidt officiating. Family will greet friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Bemidji, Minn. Arrangements are entrusted to the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji, Minn.
In lieu of flowers memorials preferred to the First Presbyterian Church, Bemidji, Minn.