James “Jim” Howard Hazen age 88, formerly of Brownlee, NE, passed away Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at the Norfolk Veterans Home in Norfolk, NE.
Funeral services will be Saturday, March 16, 2019, at 1:00 P.M. at the Brownlee Community Church in Brownlee, NE with Pastor Tim Hazen officiating. Burial will be in the Brownlee Cemetery with Military Honors. Visitation will be Saturday, March 16, 2019, one hour before service time at the Brownlee Community Church. Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. Online condolences can be left at www.govierbrothers.com.
James Howard Hazen was born August 5, 1930 to Lewis Elmer Hazen and Verda Grace Lefler Hazen in Omaha, Nebraska and went to be with Jesus and Elsie on March 5, 2019.He went to school in Brownlee elementary and Thedford High School. He married Elsie Sharon Howell December 23, 1950 at Bethel Assembly of God in Thedford, Nebraska. He served in the Army of the United States of America from November 1951 through October 1953. Jim was stationed at Fort Ord, California so Elsie and baby Shirley were able to live close by until he was sent to Germany. He was honorably discharged with a Occupational Medal (Germany) and a National Defense Service Medal. While in the service, he became a sharp shooter and instructor.
They were blessed with 6 children: Shirley, Steve, Dave, Nancy, Tom and Tim. Jim and Elsie moved from Brownlee, Nebraska with their 3.5 children to Scotts Valley, California in 1955 when Jim decided he wanted to know more about the Bible. Elsie’s mom, Fern Howell moved with them. During his time at Bethany Bible College, he was the maintenance man – holding down a full time job with 3.8 grade average. After 4 years of college, a degree in Christian Education and 2.5 more children, the family moved to the small town of Ben Lomond, California. He was hired as a carpenter by Reese Construction and continued to work with this company for many years; becoming a journeyman carpenter with finish skills that were admired by all who worked with and for him. In 1978, Jim and Steve got their contractors license and operated as James Hazen Construction for 2 years. He officially retired in 1992 but continued doing remodel jobs for neighbors and family.
Carpentry was not just a job for Jim. He loved to work with wood and taught his sons the craft. Tom and Steve both became contractors with skills learned from their dad. Grandsons Jed, Jeff and Mitch have been working in this field as well, while Daniel loves working with wood in various ways taught by both his grandfathers. Josh, Jeremy and Jacob watched and learned from Grandad and use the lessons learned in their daily lives. Brent and Ryan learned from their Dad, Tom, and can swing a hammer with the best of them. The beat goes on…. We all heard the story of Steve learning to use the hammer…”down, down, ‘tay ‘dere’”. It took Dad just 3 hits to set and send that nail down – Steve was trying to copy.
Because of his own Dad, Jim could fix just about anything and taught all 4 sons what they needed to do to keep their families cared for. His daughters married men who were like their dad – being knowledgable in many things.
Jim loved to fish. He said his favorite pastime growing up was walking the river and fishing. He would take all of his children, line them up with fishing poles – appropriately spaced – with instructions to stay quiet and watch the bobber. We all caught fish. He especially liked to fly fish. In traveling, he would have a flat tire or run out of gas right where there was a good fishing hole – or so it seemed. He passed his love of fishing on to his sons – especially Tom who at an early age knew what a ‘earm’ and ‘pish’ was.
The family traveled a lot – Sunday afternoons, weekend camping trips, hiking trips, yearly trips to Nebraska – of course, fishing was involved in most trips.
Through the course of his life, Jim always put God first. He not only taught his children how to live according to God’s word but was very active in church life – teaching Sunday School class, Bible studies, Royal Ranger commander, serving on church boards, etc. His final days were wanting to make sure all those around him knew that God wanted them to serve and live for Him.
Jim is survived by children: Shirley (Jerry) Saueressig, Steven (Debbie) Hazen, David (Carol) Hazen, Nancy Byrd, Thomas (Sandy) Hazen and Timothy (Linda) Hazen, 14 grandchildren and families which include 30 great grandchildren, Brother- in -law Tom (Janet) Howell, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by parents, wife Elsie, great granddaughter Eisley, and son-in-law Stephen Byrd.