Hazel Matilda Chick was born to Phyllis and George Chick on November 6, 1926 in Castor, Alberta. She was a sister for Gladys, Albert and Dorothy.
Hazel grew up on the family farm at Big Knife south of Gadsby. She went to work as a receptionist and medical stenographer for Dr. Bob Zender and worked there until she met and fell in love with Ace Pratt, and became his bride on August 6, 1947. Dr Zender gave the toast at their wedding.
The newlyweds had a quarter of land on the north side of the tracks where the Stettler Auction Mart sits today. In the early years they raised pigs and chickens. On December 21, 1949 mom gave birth to Susanne Elaine and on September 23, 1952 a second daughter Donna Lynn was born.
In August 1953 they set off on a new venture and started the Stettler Auction Mart with their partners Charlie and Lorna McKay. Mom ran the concession in the early years. On December 15, 1955 their third daughter Dixie Ann was born.
In the spring of 1958 they moved out of the little house on the farm to a new home in Stettler across from the fairgrounds. In 1964 they enjoyed a wonderful trip to Europe with several friends from Stettler. The next summer of 1965 they decided to build a new home on their land just west of Stettler, unfortunately they had barely got started on the house and Ace had a heart attack. With the house already sold in Stettler they moved to the lake to live for the summer.
Mom had her hands full with dad sick and the house plans going full force. A bit of a challenge to keep dad down. Once on the farm they built up their Purebred Hereford herd and started dabbling in the race horse business a bit, along with Charlie McKay. Their racehorse trainer was Elmer Turigan and they spent the summers going to watch their horses race in Calgary and Edmonton. In 1968 dad had a stroke and mom became the caregiver again. With her help dad was back to almost 100 per cent recovery.
They sold the Auction Mart to the McKay family in 1971. They enjoyed the horses and “retirement” and were planning on spending their winters in Arizona. They were fortunate to get to enjoy the birth of Elaine and Jerry’s sons Wayne and Dale before dad’s sudden death on December 1, 1975. Mom was dealt a huge blow with the death of dad and shortly after her mother in January 1976.
Mom did a bit of travelling and went on a cruise or two with her sister Gladys. She also enjoyed the arrival of her granddaughter Kim in October 1976 and watching her grow up.
On April 17, 1985 Mom married Earl Snider, her brother Albert’s army and POW buddy. They had many happy times with Albert and Iris and spending their winters in Apache Junction, Arizona. They welcomed Dixie’s daughter Kelsey in May 1988 and son Kent in July 1990.
Many happy times were spent with the young grandchildren. On May 17, 1992 after having a fun day planting the garden with Lynn’s family and Dixie’s family Earl suddenly died of a heart attack. So at 65 years of age Mom became a widow for the second time.
Grandkids were an important part of her life and for the next few years she enjoyed watching each of them grow up and get married. Wayne and Holly were first and Mom loved welcoming her first great granddaughter Brooke Skocdopole and Mom came up with the nickname GG for herself for the little ones to call her.
In 1996 Mom made the tough decision to leave the farm and all the yard work and moved to a townhouse just east of Main Street in Stettler. She enjoyed the arrival of Hope, a sister for Brooke and when these young girls took dance lessons down the street they along with little brother Luke got to spend time with GG. Mom enjoyed that so much! She was thrilled when another little guy by the name of Chase Thomas came along.
When Kim got married in 2001, Mom had the privilege of sharing in giving the bride away to Kyle McGougan! She has enjoyed so much watching their two children Grady and Marlee grow up!
Dale and Diane were married in 2002 and their son Coy has also given Mom much enjoyment.
Mom was so proud of all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and all of their accomplishments large and small.
Unfortunately poor health has plagued her last few years and especially her eyesight, taking away her enjoyment of her jigsaw puzzles and reading that she so enjoyed, but in spite of it all she for the most part had a very positive attitude. She was a beautiful lady inside and out that will be sadly missed by all who knew her.
She was predeceased by her parents Phyllis and George; first husband Ace; second husband Earl; son-in-law Jerry; sister Gladys (Ian) Hooson; brother Albert (Iris) Chick; sister Dorothy (George) Barber; nephew Jim Beattie; niece Beatrice Wilson.
Hazel is survived by her daughters Elaine Skocdopole Schmidek (Lorne) of Rochon Sands, Lynn Pratt of Stettler, Dixie Bergan of Red Deer; grandchildren Wayne (Holly) Skocdopole, Dale (Diane) Skocdopole, Kim (Kyle) McGougan, Kelsey Bergan and Kent Bergan; great grandchildren Brooke, Hope, Luke, Chase, Coy, Grady and Marlee; numerous nieces nephews, other family and a host of many friends.
Funeral services were held for the late Hazel M. Pratt-Snider on Monday, April 14, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the Heartland Chapel of the Stettler Funeral Home with Pastor Ross Helgeton officiating.
Loving tributes were given by Gordon and Brenda Smith, JoAnne Fitzmartyn and Rosalind LaRose. The Simon and Rushton families offered their gifts of music.
The active pallbearers were Wayne and Holly Skocdopole, Dale and Diane Skocdopole, Kim and Kyle McGougan, Kelsey Bergan, Kent Bergan, Lorne Schmidek. Honorary pallbearers were Madeleine Innocent, Vera Airey, Louise Chick, Ken Rairdan, Gordon and Brenda Smith, Harold and Velma Chick, Murray and Mary Lou Manson, Steve and Rosalind LaRose, JoAnne Fitzmartyn and Tony Pozdin, Dale and Dixie Manson. As the funeral service closed family and friends gathered together in the Heartland fellowship hall for a time of sharing and fellowship with the luncheon prepared by Teresa’s Catering.
The interment followed in Lake View Cemetery where Hazel was laid to rest beside her first husband Ace.
Should family or friends desire, memorial contributions may be made in Hazel’s memory to the Stettler Health Services Foundation – Palliative Care Room, STARS or to a charity of choice.
Condolences may be forwarded to the family by visiting the Stettler Funeral Home website at www.stettlerfuneralhome.com
Stettler Funeral Home and Crematorium are entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. For further information please call 403-742-3422.