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Hazel M. Dowden, 103, of Clear Lake, died Sunday, December 8, 2013 at the Good Shepherd Health Center. Hazel was born February 20, 1910 in Laurel, Iowa to and William and Dora Weissenburger. She often reminisced about her childhood days in Laurel – her one room school house, her basketball days, and her courtship with the love of her life, Burt Dowden. Hazel and Burt were married in Laurel in 1933, lived in Portland, Oregon during the war, and later returned to Marshalltown where they lived until 1955 when they moved to Clear Lake. Hazel was active in the United Methodist Church and circle groups for many years. She loved to travel with family, was a voracious reader, an ornithology buff, a consummate animal lover and sports enthusiast. She especially loved the Iowa Basketball Hawkeyes and even followed their arch rival Wisconsin Badgers, in deference to her son Jerry and daughter-in-law Jan who live in Madison, Wisconsin. She was always passionate about her bridge club and treasured time spent with her many loyal friends and relatives. The family wishes to extend their sincere appreciation to Hazel’s many phenominal care givers through the years. She adored the Apple Valley Assisted Living staff, especially nurse Vicki, as well as the special friends she developed there during the past ten years. In her final days, the Good Shepherd Health Center and Hospice of North Iowa partnership provided excellent care and comfort. A special thanks goes to Hazel’s adoring Clear Lake, Mason City, Marshalltown, and Laurel area friends and relatives who were always there for her. She often spoke of her good fortune to have such a wonderful support system. Hazel was preceded in death by her parents and loving husband Burt. Hazel is survived by her son Jerry (Jan) Dowden of Madison, Wisconsin, as well as many thoughtful relatives including the Charles Korte and Vajgrt families. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Apple Valley Assisted Living, where a fund has been established in her name, or to Hospice of North Iowa. A commemorative bench and plaque will be dedicated in the spring of 2014 in the Apple Valley Assisted Living outdoor gardens.
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