Hazel Laird Brashear Bowser, 93, of Washington, died peacefully on Saturday, December 18, 2021 at the Rose Hill Assisted Living Facility in Robbinsville, NJ Born May 11, 1928 in Huntingdon, she was the daughter of the late Frederick E. and Edith Cowher Laird .
Hazel attended Juniata College, earned a bachelor’s degree in music, and earned certification to teach both music and English.
While dating Juniata, Hazel met her future husband, Robert “Bob” S. Brashear. They married on August 21, 1948, started a family, and shared 45 years together until Bob passed away on August 20, 1993.
In 2008, Hazel married Dr. Edward J. Bowser, moving with him to York. After her death, Hazel moved to Robbinsville, to be closer to her family.
While residing in Washington for more than 60 years, Hazel was actively involved in musical, religious, and community organizations. She was well known as a piano teacher in town, sharing her love of music with students of all ages. After many years as a member of the Covenant Church and its choir, she followed Bob to Faith United Presbyterian Church, first as a choir member and then, after Bob’s death, assuming his position as choir director for more than 10 years. Having extensive experience as a substitute teacher in area schools, at the age of 50 Hazel was proud to become a full-time English teacher at Trinity High School, where she taught until her retired 15 years later. After her retirement, she continued her commitment to education as a volunteer for the Literacy Council of Southwestern PA, teaching adults to read and write.
Hazel had a burning passion for reading, painting, sewing and golf. After losing the use of her right hand following a stroke at the age of 88, she learned to paint again using her left hand. Hazel loved to travel and explore the world, drawing inspiration from her paintings, but family vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina held the most special place in her heart.
Hazel’s greatest passion was her family. She loved vacations, family celebrations and just spending time together. She sought joy in everyday life, sharing her compassion, creativity and sharp sense of humor. She was dedicated to being the best mother, grandmother and friend she could be.
Hazel is survived by her three children, Robert of New York, NY, John (Susan) of Dayton, Ohio, and Amy (Xavier) Miranda of Robbinsville, NJ; and her sister, Natalie Ozeas Bates of Mount Lebanon. Also survived are beloved grandchildren, Micah (Nina), Nathaniel and Daniel Brashear and their mother, Andrea Schwartz; Katy (Brian) Barker and Elizabeth Brashear Fuller; Olivia and John Miranda; great-grandchildren, Roko and Karla Brashear; and his nephews and nieces.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society (in recognition of Hazel as a stroke and breast cancer survivor), or the Literacy Council of Southwestern PA.
Published by Observer-Reporter from February 12 to February 13, 2022.