Hazel Ione (Coats) O’Bryan, 84, died Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at home.
Hazel was born November 30, 1928, in Valentine, Neb., the 6th of 9 children of Clyde and Jennie Coats.
Hazel attended Pass Creek Elementary school for a short time then moved to Martin, SD, where she attended Martin Elementary and graduated from Bennett County High School in 1947. She graduated from Black Hills Teachers College and began teaching at White River School southwest of Martin, driving each day in a Model A Ford.
Hazel married Dean E. O’Bryan on New Year’s Eve 1947 in Rapid City, S.D., and moved to the Walter Dale Ranch at Patricia, S.D., where Dean was employed. In September 1952, Dean, Hazel and three sons, Ed, Larry and Lonnie, moved to Sharps Corner establishing the O’Bryan Ranch, moving into their new two bedroom house that they were still building. Over the years, four more sons were born, John, Doug, Kurt and Todd.
In the Fall of 1964, Hazel was asked and agreed to be a cook at the new Rocky Ford School and later was hired as a teacher’s aide. After retiring from the school, and over 50 years on the ranch, she and Dean gradually moved to Martin so she could enjoy being with her parents, sisters, and other family members and friends.
Hazel’s life was committed to serving her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and being a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to all. Hazel loved being around family and friends. She especially enjoyed her “coffee time” and card playing time with friends and family.
She enjoyed numerous activities during her lifetime such as the Extension Club, the Legion Auxiliary, Retired Teachers Association, various church functions and was always ready to host a family gathering at the ranch.
The raising of seven sons and the establishment and growth of the O’Bryan Ranch was a special sense of pride and accomplishment for Hazel. Exercising was important to her and she spent many hours walking the ranch enjoying its landscape beauty and livestock scenes. Hazel and Dean loved dancing and listening to country music. Two of their favorite songs were Crystal Chandelier and Blue Skirt Waltz, as they loved to waltz together. Hazel also loved bowling and many other forms of exercise until it became difficult for her to do.
Never having any daughters of her own, Hazel always had a special place in her heart for nieces, granddaughters and daughters-in-law. She enjoyed extended visits to the ranch during the summer by many of her “girls”.
Hazel is survived by her husband, Dean, sons: Ed (Rickey), Larry (very special friend Jeanie), Lonnie (Rhonda), John (Karen), Doug (Carol), Kurt (Linda), and Todd (Carolyn), 17 grandchildren and 33 great-Grandchildren, sisters: Fern (Cleon) Boomer, Opal Smith, and Eileen Miksell, and sisters-in-law, Lois Coats and Dorothy Coats.
She was preceded in death by her parents Clyde and Jennie Coats, granddaughter, Ronda Donnelly, great-grandson, Taten Reed Moran, sister, Vera Huddleston-Olsen, Brothers Robert, Darwin, George and Clyde Jr., and sisters-in-law Bernice and Vi Coats.
Funeral services were held Monday, June 17, at Our Redeemers Lutheran Church in Martin, with burial at Martin Community Cemetery.
A memorial as been established and donations may be sent in care of Bennett County Funeral Service, PO Box 65, 57551.