McCOOK, Nebraska -- Hazel L. Arterburn was born in rural Phelps County, Nebraska on April 30, 1926, to Lars and Marie (Rasmussen) Ibsen. She died July 3, 2011, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Nebraska -- just one month shy of her 60th wedding anniversary.
Hazel's Danish family weathered the dust bowl and depression days of her youth on farms in Phelps and Harlan Counties in Nebraska. With her twin, Harriet, at her side, she graduated from Ragan High School in 1943 at age 16. Having completed "normal training," she then taught one year in a one-room school house north of Elm Creek to save money before attending Kearney State Teacher's College. She graduated from Kearney State with a dual degree in secondary education and English in 1948.
Soon after graduating, she went to Chicago for the summer where she attended the Gregg School of Commerce to improve her skill in teaching typing. She spent the next two years teaching typing and office practice at Minden High School where she met her husband, Keith. They were married on Aug. 5, 1951, at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kearney before making their home in Gothenburg, Nebraska, where both taught school and they attended the Church of Christ.
After two years in Gothenburg, Hazel left full-time teaching to devote her life to family, faith and friends. The family moved briefly to Broken Bow, Nebraska in 1960, and then to McCook in 1961, where she resided until her death.
Known for selfless service and gracious hospitality, Hazel taught women's and children's Bible classes, cared for the elderly, mentored younger women and modeled faith for all to see. She spent 17 years teaching on the "Joy Bus" while Keith drove -- taking children to Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes. She loved to sew, garden, can homegrown vegetables and refinish antique furniture. Even more, she loved spending time with family and friends from near and far. Her door was always open and the table always full.
Hazel was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Dale Ibsen; and sisters, Elaine Brady, Harriet Frisell and Jeanette Bryant.
Hazel is survived by her husband, Keith; two children, Ann Morrill and husband, Bruce of Stilwell, Kansas, and David and wife, Cindy of Papillion, Nebraska; five grandchildren, Ben Morrill and wife, Stephanie, Chris Morrill, Jeff Arterburn, Katie Arterburn and husband, Zach Norwood and Chad Arterburn; two great-grandchildren, McKenna and Connor Morrill; and numerous nieces and nephews. She will be remembered for her unconditional love and ever-present witness of faith in God.
Visitation is 4-8 p.m. at Carpenter-Breland funeral home on Thursday, July 7. The family will greet visitors from 6-8 p.m.
Funeral services are at McCook Christian Church, Friday, July 8, at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska.
The family encourages memorials be made to York College in York, Nebraska or McCook Christian Church.
Friends may sign her book at the funeral home or send condolences online at www.carpenterbreland.com.
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.