Hazel Ann Smith, 91, of Baker City, died Jan. 22, 2008, at St. Elizabeth Care Center.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Bishop Ernie Collard will officiate. There will be a reception afterward at the church.

Hazel was born on Oct. 25, 1916, to James Robert Wanker and Zena Belle Whitten Wanker at the Wanker Ranch in Medical Springs. Hazel was the youngest in the family, with four older sisters. As a young girl, she helped cook for the ranch hands.

Hazel attended school at Medical Springs. She married Ernest Smith on June 28, 1943. That same year, the couple purchased the ranch on which she was born and raised.

They raised three sons, Gary, Dallas, and Larry. They sold the ranch in 1972 and moved to Baker City.
When she was 17, Hazel was a princess in the first Miners Jubilee in 1934. She rode in the parade again in 2004.

Hazel loved to fish, pick mushrooms and spend time with her family. The family and neighbors would take a wagon and some cream cans to the mountains and stay for a week at a time to pick huckleberries.

She won several contests for catching the biggest steelhead. She enjoyed quilting and embroidery, and still did perfect work at the age of 91.

Hazel had a great sense of humor, always making others laugh, and she had a kind heart, her family said.

Survivors include her husband; sons and daughters-in law, Gary and Judy Smith, Dallas and Peggy Smith and Larry and Deby Smith; 10 grandchildren and their spouses; three great-granddaughters; one great-grandson, with another expected in April; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.

Memorial contributions may be made to Community Connection of Baker County through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Baker City, OR 97814.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, January 25, 2008
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor