BLACK HAWK | Hazel Ann Klinski, 68, died Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, at her home in Black Hawk, South Dakota, alongside her family after a 12-year battle with multiple myeloma.
Hazel, or "Nana" as her grandkids called her, was born on March 26, 1949, at her parents' home in Fordham, England. She was an only child raised in a quaint house in the British countryside. Growing up, she excelled at many subjects, loved to sing and even boasted of the time she was featured on a regional television spelling bee.
After graduating from school, she got a job at a department store in Cambridge, England, where she worked for a few years until she met a handsome United States Air Force service member.
Doug and Hazel married in 1977 and lived in England, and later in Ellsworth, SD, where their son Craig was born in 1979. The family moved back to England (RAF Chicksands) for a short time, where Michael was born in 1982 before the family was re-stationed at Ellsworth in 1984. Two years later, they settled in Black Hawk. She adored America and the Black Hills area, but also continued to visit England often to stay connected to her beloved family overseas.
After the children were born, Hazel began what she felt was her most important job, a stay-at-home mother, where she worked tirelessly to make sure her two sons stayed on the right track and did well at school and activities.
She also worked as a lunch supervisor at Black Hawk Elementary School until she developed cancer in 2005.
Hazel had many interests and hobbies through the years, notably reading, bird watching, puzzles, native flowers and keeping up with current events.
Above all, Hazel loved and lived for her husband, children and grandchildren, who all helped keep her going through the ups and downs of her diagnosis. She continued her motherly instinct throughout this period.
Hazel was preceded in death by a cousin who was like a brother to her, Andrew Palmer (Sandra) of England; and her parents, Christopher and Doris Downing of England.
She is survived by her husband, Doug; two sons, Craig (Anna) and Michael (Marsa); six grandchildren, Jenna, Thomas, Ian, Hayden, Emma, Ethan; and a "sister she never had," Marilyn.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the American Cancer Society or Hospice of the Hills. Hazel and the family would like to thank the entire staff at the John T. Vucurevich Cancer Care Institute who treated her and became friends during her fight with cancer. The family would like to also thank the staff at Fountain Springs Healthcare and Hospice of the Hills.
It was Hazel's wish to have a private family funeral with burial at Black Hills National Cemetery.
Her online guestbook is available to sign at osheimschmidt.com.