With great sadness, West Creek Conservancy announces the loss of longtime board member and friend Dorothy Hazel. Dorothy was in her 7th term as director when, after a two-year battle, she succumbed to cancer in early February.

Whenever Dorothy spoke or wrote, it was with conviction and passion. Her gentle disposition belied a fierce dedication to family, friends, and the natural world.

Ms. Hazel served on the Conservancy’s board since its creation in 2000, holding the office of secretary and other positions. She and her husband had been active in the organization since joining in 1998. Dorothy chaired the Policies & Practices Committee and was the Conservancy’s archivist extraordinaire, maintaining many huge binders of records and news clippings.

Ms. Hazel was a retired school teacher, having taught in the Parma and Olmsted Falls school systems. She was very active in her church as a choir member and assistant organist. She also served the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District as a supervisor and a representative on the District One Natural Resources Assistance Council (NRAC) of the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program.

Most likely you would recall seeing Dorothy’s smiling face behind registration counters and event tables with husband Irv, happily greeting visitors and spreading the gospel of conservation.

West Creek Conservancy created an award – Conservation Hero – and conferred it on her shortly before she passed. Says Board Chair Jeff Lennartz, “Dorothy’s drive to protect our region’s natural areas was unwavering. Her spirit will live on in each of us and her memory will continue to inspire.”

Ms. Hazel is survived by her husband Irvin and sons John and Mark.