Hazel A. McAlear passed peacefully of natural causes on January 24, 2022, at St. Joseph Hospital in Polson, Montana. She was 84. She was born on September 14, 1937, to Bruce E. Gold, Sr, and Sylvia (Walter) Gold in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While in grade school the family moved to Independence, Missouri. One of her early memories is at the age of 8, ‘trick or treating’ the personal home of then President Harry S. Truman and receiving a dime from a secret service agent. Several years later the family moved to Plattsmouth, Nebraska. Listed in her high school yearbook as “Small in stature, but Great in mind”, she graduated as class valedictorian in 1955.
Vacation trips to the Oregon coast prompted a move to Portland, where she was employed as a legal secretary. It was there that she met and married Keith McAlear in 1959. Over the next decade she continued to work and start a family in Oregon. The family relocated to Polson, Montana in 1970, where Hazel began working for the Polson School District from 1975 through her retirement in 2006.
Hazel was involved with many of her children’s activities, including serving as a leader for Cub Scouts and Camp Fire Girls. She was also involved in community organizations such as the Polson Jaycees. She taught many in the community over the years in her adult education computer classes. As a chaperone for the high school ski bus, she took up snow skiing in her late 30’s. She enjoyed travel, and particularly trips up to Glacier Park. Mother’s Day drives around the lake, viewing the cherry blossoms were another favorite. But without a doubt, her favorite pastime was spending summer afternoons at the beach on Flathead Lake, with her chair and a good book. Her spot there may now be empty, but her memory will forever live on.
Hazel was preceded in death by her husband, Keith McAlear; parents, Bruce Sr, and Sylvia Gold; stepmother, Betty Gold; sister Patty Juliff and husband Ed; sister-in-law, Norma McAlear; brothers in law, Bill Thomas, and Bill Lovell; nephew, David Gold.
She is survived by her children: Doug, Polson; Diane and husband Mike Bolduc, Austin, Texas; brother Bruce Jr (Lila) Gold, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; brother Steve (Jeanne) Gold, Corona, CA; sister, Janet Gartlan, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; sister-in-law, Eunice Thomas, Alameda, CA; sister-in-law, Carole Lovell, Missoula, MT and many treasured nieces and nephews.
Graveside services will be held later this spring or summer. The family would also like to thank the staffs at St. Joseph’s and St. Patrick’s Hospitals for all the care and devotion they provided to “Miss Hazel” during the past few months.