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Gretchen Hazard

February 26, 1937 ~ September 6, 2020 (age 83)


Gretchen Hazard, 83, of Bemidji, Minnesota, passed away at Sanford Medical Center on Sunday, September 6, 2020.

Gretchen was born in Bemidji on February 26, 1937, to Charles and Rosalie (McCullough) Vandersluis.  She grew up in Bemidji and attend Bemidji State University. She married and moved to Minneapolis and had four children. Gretchen later moved to North Dakota where she taught school for several years. She moved back to Bemidji and worked as a piano teacher.

Gretchen was an artist and a musician. She was active in her church, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Bemidji, where she played piano and organ for her congregation for many years. Gretchen created beautiful art throughout her life, with several pieces still displayed in her church and community. She was an animal activist, serving on the Humane Society Board and often adopting orphaned kitties. She was a gardener and loved growing her lilies.

Gretchen is survived by her partner of 25 years John Lorty; son Bill Wold; daughters Mary (Ray) Carter, Janna (Scott) McGaw, and Sara Strobush; grandchildren Natalie Evanmo, Leah Carter, Jeff Carter, Sam McGaw, Jackson McGaw, Naomi Strobush, Julia Strobush, Claire Strobush, and Aaron Strobush; great-grandchildren Audrey Evanmo and Opal Evanmo; and brother Wendell (Cindy Marshall) Vandersluis. Gretchen was preceded in death by her parents.

A private family graveside service will be held by her family.  Arrangements are being provided by Whispering Pines Funeral & Cremation Services, Walker, MN.

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