Hazel M. Fetcho Bowerman passed away on Friday morning, October 15 at her residence in Timber Creek Assisted living in Columbia Falls, Montana. She was born December 25, 1919 in Lakefield, MN. She was the daughter of Michael Fetcho and Lydda Meier Fetcho Sudhoff.
In 1933 when Hazel was 14 her mother and siblings moved to Elk, Washington to live with Lydda’s Aunt May Gilson. Hazel attended school there for 2 years where she met Ben Bowerman. Two years later on April 4, 1936 she married Benjamin E. Bowerman in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Their families were concerned that they were too young, however after almost 75 years together they celebrated a wonderful life that they lived by example. Together they raised 5 children who loved God.
On February 13, 1937 she gave birth to her first baby, Dolores. They arrived at the hospital in Spokane just ahead of a big snowstorm or she might have been born in a snowbank. 17 months later she gave birth to Julie and 15 months after that Merrilie joined the family. By that time, they were living in Spokane Washington. It was a very happy, busy time for Hazel.
World War 2 interrupted their lives. Ben was drafted by the navy and he had to leave his family. It was a distressing time for Hazel, but she did the best she could while he was gone. What joy when the war ended and they could all be together again. After that two more children were born to them Lynda Kay and Benjamin Michael two years apart.
They moved to Elk Washington to be closer to Hazel’s mom. Ben found employment with an aluminum plant in Mead, Washington. While there he received management training however there were no openings at the plant so he decided to put in applications in other states. That led to his being hired by Anaconda Aluminum in Columbia Falls, Montana. In 1954 he moved the family to Montana. Housing was not available in Columbia Falls so they settled in Whitefish, Montana on the corner of 7th and Baker. A few years later they moved to Columbia Falls and eventually built a large new home.
Hazel did not finish high school, but she loved to learn and read many books on many subjects and educated herself. She also loved playing dominos and scrabble. Her last game was played the week she died at 101 and 10 months! She loved being a wife and mother. She had a sweet quiet personality and was loved by many people. Hazel loved all animals. When she was a child, she loved carrying her chickens around, playing with and naming them. Also Hazel and Ben always had a dog.
They attended the Assembly of God church in Whitefish MT and later the Assembly of God church in Columbia Falls MT. There they were faithful servants of God. Hazel was the assistant church treasurer alongside Ben for 21 years. They also enjoyed taking trips together to see other parts of the USA and visiting their children and grandchildren. Her beloved husband Ben passed away March 19, 2011. She missed him very much, but she did not quit keeping house and spending time with her family.
She is survived by her daughters, Julie Lamb (Gene) and Dolores Selig, and her son, Benjamin M Bowerman (Pinky), 16 grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Floreine Powell and Eleanor Schneider and brother, Myron Fetcho, two daughters, Merrilie Aho and Lynda Tyler. We will miss our sweet loving mama, but are at peace knowing she is with Jesus and that we will see her again one day!
Visitation will be held Friday, October 29 from 4 to 7 PM at the Columbia Mortuary. The funeral service will be October 30th at 11:00 AM at the Whitefish Assembly of God Church in Whitefish MT . (150 Lamb Lane} Internment will follow at Woodland Cemetery in Columbia Falls MT.
Arrangements are entrusted to Columbia Mortuary.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Hazel M. Bowerman, please visit our floral store.