Hazel Arlene Koele Rons, the daughter of Walter and Priscilla (Donnenwerth) Sittler, was born near May City, Iowa on March 22, 1922. She spent her childhood on the family farm in Osceola County attending Harrison #5 Township School and graduating from Hartley High School in Hartley, Iowa.
On January 5, 1942, Hazel married Marion Koele at Hartley. They farmed together north of Hartley, where they raised their five children. In 1959, the family moved in to the town of Hartley, and purchased the grocery store there along with Russell and Gladys Sauer. Marion passed away in April of 1963, and on October 17, 1964, Hazel married Ed Rons at The Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. They continued owning and operating the grocery store until they sold it in 1974. Following Ed’s death in December of 1991, Hazel remained in her home in Hartley until the fall of 2014, when she became a resident of Community Memorial Assisted Living, moving to the Health Center in December of 2017.
Hazel was an active, lifelong member of the United Methodist Church in Hartley where she sang in the choir, and was a member of UMW and Miriam Circle. She also belonged to the Yeltrah Club, Red Hat Society, Eastern Star, Meadowbrook Golf Course, quilters group and “wine club”. Over the years, she made many beautiful quilts to share with family and friends. Hazel was never one to sit idle; she loved to golf and was on a bowling league. She appreciated the beauty nature provided - especially in the summer months when she could be outdoors fishing, however, in the fall, apple picking took priority. She also knew her way around the kitchen, especially when it came to baking bread, and always enjoyed cooking for, and hosting family gatherings. Reading was a favorite pastime; being naturally curious, she was always ready to discover, and learn about new things.
On Wednesday, June 13, 2018, Hazel passed away peacefully at the Community Memorial Health Center in Hartley at the age of 96. She was preceded in death by her two husbands; two daughters: Charlotte and Charmaine; grandson, Shane Koele; step-granddaughter, Debbie Rons; step-grandson, Jarry Rons; two brothers: Delbert and Don; and a sister, Joyce.
Left to cherish her memory are her children: Sharolyn (Dick) Jacobson of Lakeville, Minnesota, Keith (Darlene) Koele of Fonda, Iowa, and Craig (Kathi) Koele of Muskogee, Oklahoma; her sister, Nancy (Don) Selby of Bellevue, Nebraska; her step-children: Glenda Johnson of Medford, Oregon, Loyd (Carole) Rons of Pipe Creek, Texas, Jim (Mary) Rons of Hartley, Iowa, and Janet (Ed) Schierholz of Hartley, Iowa, 8 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; 10 step-grandchildren, including a special caregiver, Jennie Rons; 13 step-great-grandchildren; along with many other relatives and friends.