Memorial services for Hazel Devine, age 90 of O’Neill, Nebraska, will be10:30 a.m. May 12, 2017, at Brockhaus Funeral Home in Verdigre, Nebraska. Delores Ruzicka will officiate, with burial in L’Eau Qui Court Cemetery in Niobrara, Nebraska.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.
Hazel died Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at O’Neill Care and Rehabilitation Center.
Hazel Bernice Devine was born on October 16, 1926, in Verdigre, NE to Richard and Josephine (Houzvicka) Uhlir. She was the youngest of seven children. Hazel grew up on the family farm located equidistance between Verdigre and Niobrara, NE. Hazel graduated from Niobrara High School and then attended Wayne State Teacher’s College from 1943-48. Hazel taught in the Knox County rural school system for six years after completing the Wayne State Normal Training and a certification course. She continued her Wayne State education and upon qualification, she taught 5-6th grade class in Niobrara for two years.
Hazel met the love of her life at Wayne State College. She married Francis “Frank” Stanley Devine on June 2, 1949. During their marriage Hazel and Frank lived in a variety of locations across the central and western United States (Stanton NE, Omaha, NE, Rock Springs, WY, Seattle, WA, San Diego, CA, Rupert, ID, Lincoln, NE, Laramie, WY, Rolla, MO, Hastings, NE, and O’Neill, NE.). Hazel completed her BA degree at San Diego State College in 1959. She obtained her Master’s degree in 1969, from University of NE-Lincoln with endorsements in teaching of reading (K-12), administration as a K-12 Media Specialist (librarian) and education administration (K-12). Hazel taught elementary education throughout her career along with being Assistant Principal in the Cuba County School system in Rolla, MO.
Hazel was a lifelong learner, educator, and writer. She authored two books: Kids, Taxpayers, and Schools, 1982; and The Changing Winds, 1999, which comprised research of the Uhlir family genealogy. The book covered the years from 1887-1950, and included the family’s history in Czechoslovakia and their immigration to the plains of Nebraska. Hazel was a member of many community and professional organizations, including leadership roles as follows: YMCA, State of NE Committee for Aging, American Association of University Women (AAUW), Hastings Area Retired Teachers’ Association, League of Women’s Voters, Friends of the Library, Senior Center, and the Presbyterian Church. Over the years, Hazel and her husband rescued several cats who became their family. Hazel wrote some short stories about the adventures of their cat family.
Hazel was a beloved aunt to her many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. She took interest in their life and careers, and encouraged each to further their education or be the best they could be. She loved writing, politics, painting, dancing, and drama. She was a lifetime Republican and supported many local and federal campaigns. Her motto on life was, “my positive attitude always served me well.”
Hazel is survived by her nieces and nephews, Sharon (Christensen) Mulhair, O’Neill, NE, Fred Koch, Omaha, NE, Carole (Jedlicka) Gragert, Omaha, NE, Bill (Linda) Jedlicka, Verdigre, NE, John Jedlicka, Omaha, NE, Rick (Diana) Uhlir, Norfolk, NE, Pam Uhlir, Kearney, NE, and Robin Uhlir, Vacaville, CA. Hazel is also survived by many great-nieces and nephews.