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HAZEL SHIRVEN
April 7, 1920 - February 17, 2015

Hazel was born April 7, 1920 in Mabel, Minnesota to Andrew and Hannah (Arneson).  She attended Mabel Elementary and High School, graduating in the class of 1938.  She graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in English and music and was a member of the women’s chourus, the mixed chorus, and the Irving Literary Society. While at Luther she sometimes played a weekly 15-minute organ program at First Lutheran Church that was broadcast live on KWLC Radio. Hazel recalled, “One particular day I noticed the mic was not in its usual place and it just didn’t seem as if things were set for broadcast. Having walked all that way, I thought I’d stay and practice a while. When I got back to Old Main I ran into my friend, Ellsworth Knutson, and he asked, ‘Who was playing at First Lutheran today?’ Remember, I was practicing… NOT playing a program! 

She was a graduate student in music (organ) at the University of Michigan School of Music from 1944 to 1945 and in the summers of 1946 and 1947. She also studied organ in New York.

She was a secondary school teacher in Morristown, Minn., for one year, then she spent part of a year selling War, or E Bonds, and balancing ration accounts for Mabel’s First National Bank during World War II. She taught piano and organ at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, for four years, and was organist at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City.

 She returned to her hometown and taught private piano and organ lessons for many years in the Mabel, Minn., area, and served as organist and choir director at Mabel’s First Lutheran Church, and also served for a time as organist at English Lutheran Church in La Crosse, Wis. At First Lutheran Church she also served as a Sunday school teacher, song leader and directed the children’s Christmas program for many years. She was also a member of the ALCW and served as secretary. Hazel was also served as chairman of the Mabel High School Alumni Association Scholarship Committee.

 She was a loyal alumna at Luther College, attending the many musical events at Luther’s Center for Faith and Life, and serving as a class volunteer for The Fund for Luther and other college campaigns. She was a member of Heritage Club.

 Her life was one of dedication and devotion to her church and to music. In retirement she served as a substitute Sunday school teacher and organist, and played piano at The Meadows, an assisted living facility where she lived.

Hazel passed away Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at Green Lea Senior Living in Mabel at the age of 94.

Hazel is survived by cousins, and was preceded in death by her parents.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Friday, February 20, 2015 at the Mabel First Lutheran Church in Mabel with the Rev. Elliott Malm officiating.  Burial will be in the Mabel Public Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church.

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