Hazel Belle MacMillan Huckvale, of Williams Lake, B.C., passed away on August 26, 2006 at the Williams Lake Seniors Village, at the age of 93. She was born on July 24, 1913 at Brodie, Ontario to Angus Neil MacMillan and Christine Campbell.
She grew up on the ‘the farm’ with her brother Lloyd (1909-1986) and sister Bessie (1907-1986).
She graduated from Brodie Public School, Vanleek Hill High School and Ottawa Teachers’ College. She eventually got a Masters in Education from UBC. She taught elementary school in Ontario and Quebec in the 1930s and married the charming Ray Smith. The marriage lasted only a few years.
During the Second World War, Hazel lived in Ottawa and joined the auxiliary forces. She met Jim Huckvale, while he was serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.
They married in 1944 and moved to Lone Butte in the Cariboo where Jim acted as a wilderness guide and Hazel taught in a one-room school.
Their son Neil was born in 1950.
The family moved to Williams Lake in 1953. Hazel taught while Jim worked as a manager at West Fraser.
Hazel completed her 45 year teaching career as principal of Glendale Elementary School. She was an active member of the Liberal Party, Eastern Star, Legion, the Clan Macmillan Society, the B.C. Teachers Federation and other community organizations.
She was instrumental in helping the Sikh community in Williams Lake. She worked to improve her school, community, church and country.
She had a keen sense of what she felt was right. She worked, cajoled, and argued tirelessly for her views.
Upon retirement, Hazel served two terms on the Williams Lake Town Council and then as a Seniors’ Counselor.
She was a moving force behind seniors housing, city parks, municipal buses and the preservation of local history.
Her phone started ringing at 7:00 a.m. and did not stop until midnight. In spite of all this activity, Hazel always had time for family and friends — all things could be made better with a cup of tea, a long chat or a good argument. After the death of her son Neil in 1981, Hazel took comfort from family and friends.
She particularly doted on her granddaughter, Tara, who came to think of Williams Lake as home – spending every summer there from the age of five.
Tara and her then partner, Curtis Seeger, were a great support to Hazel in the last years of her life.
Hazel equally loved and supported her chosen grandchildren; Jenny and Alice Hutchings, Chantelle Graf, Janice, Glen and David Crook, and Julie and Linda Huckvale in Blackpool, England.
In 2004, Hazel moved to the Williams Lake Seniors Village. The family greatly appreciated the friends who visited her regularly there.
Hazel will be mourned by her daughter-in-law Neera in Ottawa; granddaughter Tara in New Jersey; niece Christena in Vancouver, nephews Ernie (Brodie) and Richard (Ajax) as well as her extended family and many friends.
Hazel’s funeral service will be held at St. Andrews United Church, at 1000 Huckvale Place, in Williams Lake today, Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 1:00 p.m.
In her memory donations may be made to the Cariboo Foundation, 201-35 South Second Avenue. Williams Lake, B.C. V2G-3W3 or to the Neil Huckvale memorial Scholarship, Department of Geography, Carleton University, Ottawa.