Hazel McNeil Newhouse passed gently from our arms to her Heavenly Father on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, surrounded by family.

She was born April 27, 1924 in San Francisco, Calif. to William and Dorothy Cook McNeil.

The family moved to Yakima, where her father worked as an electrician.

She graduated from Davis High School as a "42 ter" and a Pirate Lassie. Her compassionate nature led her to St. Elizabeth School of Nursing. Her graduating picture is proudly displayed in the hall. Upon completion of her nurses training, Hazel served as a nurse in the Army Nurse Corps, while working for several doctors in Yakima.

In 1948 she married Melvin John Newhouse of Sunnyside. They made their home in the Green Valley area, where the Newhouse family farmed.

Hazel continued her nursing career working with several doctors, the Head Start program and as a Sunnyside School District nurse.

She was always proud to say she was a nurse and remained passionate about the nursing profession.

Throughout her life she was a dedicated wife, mother and friend.

Mel and Hazel raised two daughters, Pamela and Penny.

Mel and Hazel loved to entertain and their home was filled with family and friends gathered around the bridge table, swimming pool or dance floor. Her home was always decorated to reflect the seasonal holidays.

Hazel enjoyed having friends in her home and her table was continually set for a party, either the monthly sisters-in-law lunches, ceramic group or a foursome for bridge.

Dear sweet auntie Hazel was known as "the hugging aunt" and delighted in the affections of her nieces, nephews and their children.

She was the "favorite mother-in-law" of Ted Durfey and Jeff Ross.

Hazel thoroughly enjoyed the love and activities shared with her grandchildren, Chelsea and Rachelle, Josh, Jason and his wife, Tayana, and her great-granddaughter, Brylee.

Her sharp wit, magnetic personality and energetic attitude served as an inspiration to her many friends.

Hazel's daily routine always started by checking in with her special friends via a phone call. This communication therapy will be missed by all.

Summers found Hazel traversing over White Pass to her summer home on the golf course in Packwood. At the Packwood Senior Center, the Presbyterian Church and High Valley Country Club she enjoyed the fellowship of friends. There, too, she was known to round up a foursome for a bridge party.

Hazel enjoyed traveling. In the early years, Mel and Hazel enjoyed going to hop conventions, fishing trips to Campbell River and time spent fishing and crabbing in the San Juan Islands. Later, she spent winters in Arizona with friends and walking the beaches on the Oregon Coast with her daughters. Hazel loved the sand and surf, thoroughly enjoying her annual Hawaiian holidays with the Durfey family on the Kona Coast.

Hazel is survived by many friends who will miss her dearly. Her heritage continues in the lives of her children and grandchildren, Pamela (Ted) Durfey and daughters, Chelsea and Rachelle and Penny (Jeff) Ross and sons, Josh and Jason (Tayana), great-granddaughter, Brylee; her treasured sisters-in-law, Ruth, Pauline, Marian, Beverly Newhouse, Maryjane Swynenburg, Donna Kendall, Lynn Santos and Doreen McNeil; respected brothers-in-law, John and Wayne Newhouse; nephews, nieces and their extended families; Hazel's Canadian niece, Mauren "Mo" McCann, who was there to hold her hand during those last days; Alenka, Dianna, Kim and Linda, who were Hazel's angels on earth.

Hazel was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin; brother, William McNeil; brothers-in-law, Albert, David, Irving, Alfred Newhouse, Jack Swynenburg and Carmon Danley; two sisters-in-law, Betty Malcom and Ellen Danley; cherished nephew, John A. Newhouse; and dearly loved niece, Linda Newhouse Thomas; and high school friend and companion, "A.D." Adler.

The family would like to express their special thanks to North Star Lodge, Dr. Tony Ha (BFF), his caring staff, the doctors and nurses at Sunnyside Community Hospital for their compassionate care and friendship.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, March 26, 2011, at 2 p.m. at Sunnyside Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to North Star Lodge, Sunnyside Presbyterian Church-Deacons or the Sunnyside Community Foundation in memory of Hazel Newhouse.

Those wishing to sign Hazel's on-line memorial book may do so at

Smith Funeral Home LTD and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.



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