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Hazel Louise Pontious, 96, of West Kittanning, died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Hazel was married to William D. Pontious (deceased) and was the mother of five daughters.
She was born Feb. 8, 1922, in Finleyville, to the late John and Grace (Seafler) Dale. Raised on a dairy farm, Hazel grew up helping with the milking and delivering milk each morning before school. Life on the family farm with her beloved sisters Wilma, Edith, and Laura and brothers Shannon, Blair, and Jim gave her memories that she treasured throughout her life.
She graduated from Clairton High School and went on to graduate with honors from the Western Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, where she formed friendships with her fellow nurses that lasted a lifetime. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and completed specialized studies in psychiatry at the Western Psychiatric Institute. She devoted her life to nursing and went on to help found the Psychiatric Unit at ACMH, eventually retiring from there.
A West Kittanning resident for more than 60 years, Hazel was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Hazel was a member of the Armstrong County Nurses Association, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Eastern Star. Hazel was an avid genealogist, spending countless hours tracing the family history and attending meetings with extended family throughout the United States and Germany. A cross-country driving trip in 1948 sparked a love of travel that lasted her entire life. She especially savored visits to New Orleans and developed her passion for ragtime music there.
She is survived by her daughters, Deborah Blose, of Glenshaw, Karen Gunderson and husband, Ken, of Ephrata, Pa., Kathy Przyborowski, of Glassboro, N.J., Carol Pontious, of Kittanning, and Davida van Mook and husband,
Gary, of Saxonburg; grandchildren, Tucker (Michelle) Blose, William (Julie) Gunderson, Stephen (Lindsey) Gunderson, Alexander van Mook, Louise van Mook, and Julia van Mook; and great-grandchildren, Aleaha Blose and Theo Gunderson.
Her family would like to thank the staff at Concordia Lutheran Ministries for their loving care and kindnesses during the last 2 years. Hazel was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 57 years, William D. Pontious, who died in 2008; three sisters; three brothers; and sonin law, Hank Przyborowski.
The visitation and funeral service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Kittanning. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. followed by the service at noon. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Hazel’s name may be made to Concordia Lutheran Ministries in Cabot, PA. Arrangements are entrusted to the Snyder-Crissman Funeral Home in Kittanning.