Sunday, August 15, 2004
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT
Monday, August 16, 2004
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT
Life Story / Obituary
Suzanne “Susie” Northam Hazelett was a passionate, caring, determined woman who dedicated her life to helping others. Never one to let life pass her by, Susie participated in many organizations that gained her respect throughout her community. She had a smile that could light up a room and her devotion to family exemplified the best in a daughter, wife and mother.
The proud parents of Susie, Edwin and Wilna (Osborne) Northam, welcomed their daughter into their hearts and home on March 24, 1945. At the time of Susie’s birth, Edwin was serving in the military in Seattle, Washington and after his discharge, the family returned to Rushville, Indiana, where Susie grew up. Her father worked as a paper salesman traveling to many colleges and stationary stores, while her mother stayed at home caring for Susie and her brother David. The Northams were members of Main Street Christian Church in Rushville.
While attending the Rushville Schools, Susie made lifelong friends. With her outgoing personality and warm smile, she earned the title of Rush County Fair Queen and went on to be selected the Indiana State Fair Queen in 1962. After graduating from Rushville High School in 1963, Susie attended Hanover College earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English-Speech/Secondary Education in 1967, and later received a Master of Arts in English-Speech Education from Indiana University in 1971. During her teaching career, she taught English in the school systems of Bloomington, Martinsville and Southport, Indiana.
In 1967, while teaching at Southport High School, Susie was introduced to Bruce Hazelett through some mutual friends. Bruce was quite taken with Susie’s gentle spirit and bubbling personality and they soon began dating. Their love for each other was undeniable and they were married on August 10, 1968, at Main Street Christian Church. Their union was blessed with two wonderful children, Lara and Matthew.
Susie was a devoted mother. Her unconditional love and selflessness reverberates through the hearts of her children to this day. She always filled their home with love and did it with great joy in her heart. It was evident how happy she was by her smile, which brought light and warmth to many, especially her children. Raising her family, being devoted to her community and working gave Susie a full life. Although she had a fulfilling career, it was raising her children that was most important. She enjoyed entertaining Matt and Lara’s friends who came to truly appreciate Mrs. Hazelett. Some of her fondest memories as a child were vacations to Douglas Lake in Michigan, and they became even sweeter memories when she went back with her children sharing her love of the water with them. Undoubtedly, her favorite place on earth was anywhere her husband and children were.
Wife, mother, friend, and contributor to her community– Susie fulfilled every one of those roles with conviction, love and honor. Her training for these roles started early in her life, where her parents instilled values and started her on the path of commitment to family and community. Susie took this commitment to heart, which is evident by her numerous achievements and accomplishments. Besides being an educator, in 1980, Susie served as co-chairman of the Children’s Museum Haunted House and in 1982, was president of the Children’s Museum Guild and was recipient of the Guild’s coveted Spooner Award. Susie’s professional support of not for profit organizations began when she helped develop the Rush County Community Foundation and served as the first Director. As an advocate for education, she served as Executive Director of the Lawrence Township School Education Foundation and was a member of the Hanover College Board of Trustees. In addition, she was also Marketing Director for Trinity Homes and an independent consultant for nonprofit organizations, which provided strategic planning and fund-raising services. As of most recent, she was the Executive Director for the Randall L. Tobias Foundation, which granted money to Indiana University and Purdue University to establish the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence. Under her outstanding leadership, the Literacy for Life program was created for private and public elementary schools statewide. This program was designed to inspire excellence in the instruction of reading and writing. She remained active in the community as an influential member of the Indianapolis Junior League, Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, Agape Therapeutic Riding Center and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.
Some people achieve greatness by some notable act, something that is recognized in the newspaper or mentioned on the radio. Others, like Susie Hazelett, are quiet heroes, whose great deeds are softly given to the people fortunate to have them in their lives.
Suzanne “Susie” Northam Hazelett, died on Thursday, August 12, 2004, after a 4 ½ week battle with ovarian cancer. Susie is survived by her beloved family: husband, Bruce Hazelett; daughter, Lara Shelton (Tyler) of Fairway, KS; son, Matt Hazelett of Chicago, IL; mother, Wilna Northam Chance; and brother, David (Jan) Northam of Rushville, IN.
Friends and family will gather on Sunday, August 15, from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel. Susie’s Life Story Funeral Service will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, August 16, in the Robertson Chapel at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. You are invited to visit www.lifestorynet.com where you may read Susie’s life story and share a personal memory. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to one of the organizations in which Susie was involved or to OVAR’Coming Together.
Susie was part of many important relationships throughout her life: to her husband, to her children, to her family and friends. She filled those relationships with warmth and love, and to a countless many, she will be greatly missed.