Obituary: Hazel Francis Cross (1/25/25)

Hazel Francis Cross

December. 19, 1915- Jan. 21, 2022

Wood nap. ?? Hazel Frances Cross, 106, of Elwood, formerly of Arapahoe, Neb, died Friday, January 21, 2022, at Elwood Care Center in Elwood. She was born on December 19, 1915, to Thomas and Nora (Sanderson) Hayes on the family’s farm north of Edison, Neb, and was the fourth of seven children. Her siblings were Agnes Fisher, Kristen MacDonald, Helen Cross, Alice Watts, Tommy Hayes, and Patricia Dold.

As a teenager, Hazel attended dances at the Oxford Papillion where she met a handsome and smooth dancer ?? His name is Leo Cross. On December 19, 1931, Hazel’s 16th birthday, they decide to flee. Accompanied by her sister Helen, her sister-in-law, Earl, and her six-month-old nephew, Vaughn, they wed at Red Willow Court in McCook, Neb.

The newlyweds moved 15 miles north of Edison in the community of Turkey Creek and were blessed with five children, Carol Jane, Mona, Fred, Frank, and Wanda. Hazel was a hard-working farm wife and housewife. While raising her children, she would milk cows, raise chickens and provide produce from her garden. She loved bread and was an excellent cook with fried chicken and homemade bread as her signature meal. I became a charter member of the Ever-Ready Club, which used to meet monthly to quilt, mend, iron, and enjoy each other’s company. Hazel and Leo stayed on the farm until they moved to Edison in 1966 and their sons Frank and Fred took over the farming.

In 1971, they moved to Arapahoe, settling in the home of her father-in-law, Frank Cross. While staying at Arapahoe, they frequented the Arapahoe Senior Center, hosted friends to play cards and gathered with family for festivities. Leo and Hazel were members of the First United Methodist Church of Arapahoe. Hazel was a 65-year-old church member and part of two quilting unions. Hazel moved to the Prairie Pines community for retirement in 1996 while Leo was in care at Elwood Care Center. They celebrated 66 years of marriage before Leo died in 1998. Hazel lived in Prairie Pines for 17 years before moving in to help live in a care facility in 2013. She lived in assisted living until she was 103, when she moved into a nursing home. On December 21, 2021, due to the closure of the care facility, she moved to Elwood Care Center, where she lived last month. Hazel has spent many years sharing her life stories with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She had a wonderful memory and could tell the stories of the Dirty 1930s, the Flood of 1935 and the Blizzard of 1949. She will be remembered for her kind spirit and happy life no matter the circumstances.

Hazel died at the hands of her husband, Leo; her parents, Tom and Nora Hayes; The husband’s parents, Frank and Elaine Cross; Frank Cross’s son-in-law, Don Hambidge; Gary Monter’s grandson. great-great-grandson, Chad Hembidge; And all her brothers and their husbands.

Those left to celebrate her life are the daughters, Carol Jean Hembidge, Mona (Bill) Münter and Wanda (Dean) Ten Pinsell, all from Arapahoe; son, Fred Cross of Galt, Cliff; son-in-law, Norma Lee Cross of Mesa, Arizona; 17 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren with a baby due in March, and many nephews and nieces.

Show and visit will be Friday, January 28, 2022, from 5-7 p.m., at the Wenburg Funeral Chapel, 652 Main St. , Arapahoe. The funeral service will be on Saturday, January 29, 2022, at 10:30 a.m., at First United Methodist Church in Arapahoe with Reverend Joel Rathbone. Burial will be at Arapahoe Cemetery, Arapahoe.

Will the live broadcast of the service be provided on FUMC Arapahoe?? Facebook page. He suggests leaving a memory in her name.

Wenburg Funeral Home in Arapahoe is responsible for the arrangements. Condolences and personal reflections can be left at

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