Hope was born May 5, 1928, in Orchards, Washington (probably at home) to Nicholas H. Witt and Alta May (Hockersmith) Witt. She passed away on Feb. 25, 2022, at the age of 93. Her family moved to Portland early in her life to be closer to her father’s job. Eventually they relocated back to Clark County and finally called Yacolt home. She was the youngest of three children.
She attended Peninsula Elementary School in Kenton (a neighborhood in northwest Portland) through eighth grade. She attended Battle Ground Jr. High and then Battle Ground High School, graduating in 1946. Hope attended beauty college in Portland, graduating in March of 1948. That education led her to eventually open her own shop in the Yacolt area until her marriage in 1951.
Hope married the love of her life, Dale R. Hazen, of View, on Nov. 16, 1951. They were married for 38 years. Dale passed away Jan. 25, 1990.
Their first home was in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she worked as a beautician in the salon at the Desert Inn Casino while Dale finished his enlistment with the Army. After an honorable discharge, they came home to Clark County, bought a home and settled down in Amboy. She continued to work as a beautician, working out of her home part-time until the birth of their second child. She happily settled into being a wife, mom and homemaker. She was an excellent seamstress, making clothes for her family (sewing her daughter’s wedding dress in 1980!) and adding personal touches to their home. During the spring and summer months, she embraced her lifelong love of gardening and yard work. She was never happier than when she was digging in the dirt, brush-hogging with “Big John” or mowing grass with “Little John,” her two John Deere tractors. Her yorkie, Hershey, loved to ride on the tractors and was her constant companion.
In 1965, Dale’s work took them out-of-state to Cottage Grove, Oregon, where they lived for three years. 1968 saw them return home, again, to Amboy, where they purchased property and built the home that Hope would live in for the next 53 years. In 1972, she reentered the workforce taking a position as a reading tutor with the Battle Ground School District. She loved her one-on-one interaction with her elementary age students and worked in several of the district’s elementary schools over the course of her career. She retired from the district in 1991 and started the next adventure of her life, becoming a snowbird, spending her winters in Yuma, Arizona, and her summers in Amboy.
During her many winters in Arizona, she made many long lasting friendships with other snowbirds from near and far. She was a volunteer with Hospice of Yuma, helping in their thrift shop every winter. One highlight of her retirement years was the cruise through the Panama Canal with friends from Arizona and parasailing on one shore excursion during that vacation. In 2019, she went on a road trip with her son Rod. They stopped in Deming, Washington, for the annual logging show and then crossed the border into Canada, heading for Regina, Saskatchewan, to visit her friends, Mary Anne and Ed, from her snowbird days in Arizona.
Hope grew up in a family with strong work ethics, willing to “pitch in” at a moment’s notice to help out wherever needed. That included working part-time for her older brother, Nick, at Nick Witt Logging Co. This particular job required her to wear her own caulk boots!
That work ethic followed her all her life, gladly helping family and friends, volunteering in her community and with her children’s extracurricular activities. She was a member of Mt. Valley Grange #79, Martha Washington Chapter #42, Order of the Eastern Star, North Clark Historical Museum and the American Legion Auxiliary.
Besides sewing and gardening, she enjoyed playing the piano, music, crocheting, sudoku and crossword puzzles, dancing and family times. She was good with dogs and had a lifelong love for her yorkies, her constant companions for the past 30 years.
She had a full and long life and will be greatly missed by friends and family. She is survived by her three children, Debbie Kelley, Rod Hazen and Brad Hazen; grandchildren Robert Kelley, Daniel Kelley and Rhett Hazen; two great-granddaughters, one surviving sister-in-law, numerous nieces and nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her husband; grandson, A. J. Hazen; her parents; and brothers Nicholas H. Witt, Jr. and Jack Witt.
No services will be held. Her interment will be next to Dale at Mt. View Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Hope’s name to the North Clark Historical Museum, P.O. Box 296, Amboy, Washington, or the Ray Hickey Hospice House, 2112 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, Washington 98661.