Hazel K. Pettit, 101, of Geneseo, passed away on January 2, 2021, at Hammond Henry Hospital, Long Term Care, Geneseo, IL, with loved ones by her side. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 9, 2021, at St. Malachy Catholic Church. Father Daniel Gifford will officiate. The service will be live streamed on St. Malachy Catholic Church's Facebook Page. For the latest COVID policies, contact St. Malachy Catholic Church directly. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends at a visitation on Friday evening, January 8, from 5-7 p.m. at the Geneseo Chapel of Vandemore Funeral Home and Crematory. Covid restrictions allow only ten people in the funeral home at one time, and the VFH staff will assist in keeping everyone safe. Memorials may be made to Abilities Plus, Kewanee or St. Malachy Catholic Church.
Hazel was born on March 13, 1919, the daughter of Newton and Mabelle (Winchell) Stablein, in Selby, SD. After graduation from Moline High School, she married Robert “Bob” Pettit, Sr. in Maquoketa, IA, on September 26, 1938. Bob passed away on March 6, 1996.
Before anything else, Hazel was devoted to her God and her family. For many years, she was the office manager for Bob Pettit Realty and Hazelwood Developments. She was a very active member at St. Malachy Catholic Church, and served in many roles, on many committees, including being a part of the development of the Social Justice Committee. She was a founder and devoted leader of Abilities Plus Resale Shop in Kewanee.
Hazel was instrumental in developing numerous community outreach programs, such as the Geneseo Food Pantry and the Summer Lunch Program for children. She volunteered with the Girl Scouts and Catholic Social Services. She taught herself to use a computer at the age of 70. She programmed much of the software that she needed to use, before such programs were widely available. In her 80’s, Hazel assisted elderly citizens with their bookkeeping needs. She was also an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan.
Hazel and Bob were the parents of six children, 32 grandchildren, 79 great-grandchildren, and 25 great-great-grandchildren. Surviving children are Lynda (Bob) Carroll, Bob, Jr. (Ginny) Pettit, Mary (Larry) Gillespie, and Lori (Bob) Ward, all of Geneseo; and son-in-law, Jim Thornton, of Rock Island, IL.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Newton and Mabelle; husband, Bob; daughters, Joyce Maher, and Carolyn Thornton; son-in-law, Mick Maher; a very special granddaughter, Suzie; one great-grandson; two great-great-grandsons; eight brothers; and one sister.
Posted online on January 04, 2021