Hazel Woodard, 99, of Tehachapi, Calif., passed away on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, at her home with her daughter, Joy, and granddaughter, Kathy, by her side. She was born on July 4, 1920, in Howe, Okla., to John and Mariah Oliver.
When she was 14 years old, she met the love of her life, James “Woody” Woodard. A few years later, due to the infamous dust bowl in the Midwest at the time, she and James moved to California to start a new life. They found work wherever they could, but Hazel found her calling when an ad ran in the local newspaper.
The ad sought nurse’s aides for the new Tehachapi Hospital that was set to open its doors. Hazel was one of the first nurse’s aides at Tehachapi Hospital, and later retired after 25 years of service. Having the most beautiful and kind heart, she loved everyone, and everyone loved her. The medical profession was perfect for her. She brought joy and delight to all who worked with her.
In her spare time, Hazel enjoyed fishing for crappie, trout and catfish with Woody and many Tehachapi friends almost every weekend at Lake Isabella, eating soft-serve vanilla Frosties, and feeding everyone. She was known for her fried potatoes and chocolate pies, but she was famous for her peach cobblers and biscuits and gravy.
One of her proudest accomplishments was being named Tehachapi’s oldest lady at the annual “Tehachapi Old Timers Picnic” several years in a row.
Hazel loved and treasured her family and children. She was preceded in passing by her beloved husband, James Woodard; son, Prentice Woodard; grandchildren, Judith Woodard and Jonnhy Ray; and great-grandson, Joseph. Hazel is survived by her children, Dwayne (Janet) Woodard and Joy Woodard; sister, Roselee Ross; grandchildren, Karen Rogerson, Prentice Woodard, and Kathy Farmer; great-grandchildren, Amanda, Brandon, Krystle, Kamille, Keenan, Bryce, Brittney, Jessie, Jennie, Jamie, Dylan, and Jordan; 12 great-great-grandchildren; and special friend and caretaker, Maria Escamilla. The family wishes to thank Optimal Hospice, especially nurses Lori and Heather, for their incredible love and support.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of Wood Family Funeral Service in Tehachapi. A graveside service will be held on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at 1 p.m. at Tehachapi Public Cemetery – Eastside, 820 Burnett Road, Tehachapi, CA 93561. The service will be officiated by her great-nephew, Pastor Roque Munoz.
Hazel will be sincerely missed by all who knew her. She was a truly a blessing in their lives. The stories she shared will be treasured in hearts forever.