Hazel Cheek Baumgarner passed away at the age of ninety-four and eleven months at Moore-Few Care Center, Nevada, Missouri, where she had resided the past year and nine months. Hazel was born May 1, 1919, the third child of Chester Raymond Cheek and Wave Tramble ( Sharp) Cheek. She was born in the Horse Heaven Hills overlooking Kennewick, Washinhgton. Her mother passed away when Hazel was twenty-seven days old leaving her, along with a four year old brother, Paul, and a two year old sister, Immojean, to be reared by their grandparents.
Grandparents, Thomas Edmund (Ed) Cheek and Amy (Ritter) Cheek brought the children to Missouri to live on their farm seven miles NW of Stockton. As children they were driven in horse drawn wagons to attend Antioch Christian Church.
After graduating from Stockton High School in 1937, at the age of eighteen, Hazel began her teaching career. She taught in six rural Cedar County schools with four years teaching in the Bear Creek Consolidated School District.
On April 4, 1943, Hazel was united in marriage to Finis Baumgarner. They became parents to three daughters; Bonnie, Brenda and Vicki. In 1953 Finis became disabled due to a back injury received in a fall at the Hammons Walnut Plant. Hazel had temporarily stopped teaching to raise her girls but at this time it was necessary to return to her teaching career. She taught from that time on plus attended college at night and during the summer every year in order to receive her BS in Education from Central Missouri State College in 1958. Hazel taught almost her entire career at the 5th grade level. She was a member of the Missouri State Teachers Association for many years as well as a delegate to the National Educators Association in Seattle, Washington. Hazel was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa teacher’s sorority, served eleven years on the Cedar County Library Board including presidency two years, a member of Sac Osage Retired Teachers Association, Cedar County Hospital Auxiliary and Cedar County Historical Society. Hazel walked many miles around the El Dorado Springs area and received her 1000 miles certificate when she was eighty-plus years old. As a member of Pacesetters, she walked a total of 1897 miles. She was a member of Pape Christian Church and enjoyed the ladies group meeting.
After retiring from her career as a educator in 1984, Hazel enjoyed traveling until she was ninety years of age. She traveled to seven European countries as well as China, Japan and Canada. Hazel loved telling about her trip to South America and taking a boat ride down the Amazon River in search of alligators. She visited all the states including Alaska and Hawaii.
Hazel was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, husband, Finis; brother, Paul Cheek; sister, Immojean Cheek; and granddaughter, Season Smith. She is survived by her three daughters, Bonnie Tough of Springfield, MO, Brenda and husband Chris Barrett of Nevada, MO, Vicki and husband Dave Smith of Duncanville, TX; grandchildren, Jackson Tough, Tevi Tough, Brandon Farnham and Bret Smith, along with seven great grandchildren.