Hazel Branch Vogel Abrams, 85, beloved mom and grandma, died Dec. 21, 2004, in the comfort of her home and wrapped in the love of her family.
Her funeral will be Monday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Cambridge, Idaho. Burial will follow at Cambridge Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Thomason Funeral Home in Weiser, Idaho.
Hazel was born July 28, 1919, at Sublimity, Ore., the fifth of six children of Burton S. and Etta Mae Potter Branch. She was raised on their homestead in the Crane Creek area east of Midvale, Idaho, and she had wonderful childhood memories of riding horses, helping her dad with the farming, learning to cook on a wood stove, attending one-room schools, and being surrounded by a large extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins.
After finishing eighth grade, Hazel rode her horse into Midvale where she boarded with families so she could attend high school. She was the first in her family to receive a high school education, graduating from Midvale High School in 1936. Soon after that a handsome dark-haired stranger named Bert Vogel swept her off her feet. The two of them were married Aug. 25, 1937, and their love and friendship endured for better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health for 38 years until Bert’s untimely death in 1975 at age 64.
Most of their 38 years together was spent on their farm five miles southeast of Cambridge, where they worked side by side farming and ranching, milking cows, and raising a family. Hazel always raised a huge garden and canned hundreds of jars of produce for her family. She was an amazing cook and seamstress. She had learned resourcefulness from her parents and had the uncanny ability to create something out of nothing.
Hazel married Alvin Abrams of Weiser on April 1, 1978. Together they enjoyed camping, fishing, and traveling. They lived in Prairie City, Sumpter and Baker City, then moved to Cambridge in 1997 to be near family. Alvin suffered a debilitating stroke in 1982 and Hazel was his loving caregiver until his death on Dec. 26, 1999.
Everything Hazel did became an adventure. She never met a stranger, liked to explore new places, enjoyed reading, music, painting, crafts and gardening. She also loved to dance. She had been a member of the Rebekahs, was a longtime member and officer in the Upper Country Grange, belonged to the Cambridge-Midvale Senior Citizens and was a member of the Cambridge First Baptist Church. She was very involved in her children’s lives, serving as room mother, den mother, and 4-H leader while they were growing up. She also became a surrogate mom to many of their friends. She will be especially remembered by family and friends for her extraordinarily quick wit and sense of humor.
Her most important role was that of mom and grandma. She is survived by five children: Charles and Marlene Vogel of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Mike and Nikki Vogel of Cambridge, Susan and Randy Crisp of Cambridge, Tom and Marva Vogel of Payette, Idaho, and Debbie Ford of Boise; grandchildren: Missy and Tim Harrison, Gayle and Steve Peters, Scooter Vogel, Jennifer and Cory Nilson, Jeff Davis and Heather Hodson, Nate Ford, Addie Ford, Kasey and Ben Brock and Isaiah Ford; great grandchildren: Levi and Julia Harrison, Zach and Ian Harrison, Kasey, Becky and Charlie Jones, Crystal and Chris Peters, Blake and Abbie Vogel, and Joshua Nilson; her beloved sister, Bertha McPherson of Hayden, Idaho; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Hazel was preceded in death by her two husbands; her parents; her son, Roger Vogel; her granddaughter, Lori Ann Vogel; two brothers, Milton and Delbert Branch; and two sisters, Mabel Daugherty and Mae Clure.
The family extends their appreciation to Phyllis Ward and Brenda Traxler of Cambridge for their assistance in caring for Hazel; also thanks to the staff of Heart and Home hospice for their loving attention to her final needs.
The family suggest memorials be made in Hazel’s name to the Cambridge or Midvale EMT/Fire departments, the Cambridge-Midvale Senior Citizens, the Cambridge Baptist Church or a favorite charity.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, December 27, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor