Hazel C. Speer 84, of Columbus, Kan. died 8:30 p.m. Thursday March 3, 2011 at Medicalodge Nursing Home in Columbus, Kan. following a long illness.

Hazel was born December 10, 1926 in Carona, Kan., the daughter of John H. and Minnie (Dockstader) Cartwright.

She attended area schools in Roseland, Kan. and graduated from West Mineral High School in 1944. On July 17, 1945 Hazel married Harry D. Speer, they later divorced in 1989. She was a lifelong member of the Order of the Eastern Star Purcell Chapter #110 of Scammon and Columbus. She worked in Defense Plants during and after WWII in Palmdale, Calif. and Tulsa, Okla. She was also at telephone operator and PBX operator in Lancaster, Calif. She was a member of the First Christian Church in Columbus, Kan.

She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Jerry Speer and siblings Earl D. Cartwright and Maxine Smittle.

Survivors include children, Larry D. Speer of Columbus, Kan., Vicki D. McDown and husband Alan of Columbus, Kan. and John W. Speer of Columbus, Kan.; daughter in law, Mary Speer of Tulsa, Okla.; grandchildren, Denise Lucian, Jill Grant, Julie McClain, Derrick McDown, Natalie Speer, Steven Speer, Stephanie Speer, Tyler Speer and Connie Speer; nine great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial Services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday March 9, 2011 at the Bath-Naylor Funeral Home in Columbus, Kan. with Rev. Dennis Johnson officiating. Burial will follow at the Edgmand Cemetery in Rural Cherokee County. Informal visitation will be 12 to 6 p.m. Tuesday March 8, 2011 at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers the family ask expressions of sympathy be in the form of memorials to the First Christian Church. Friends may drop off or mail memorials to Bath-Naylor Funeral Home 611 S. East Ave. Columbus, KS 66725. E-mail condolences may be left at www.bathnaylor.com. Arrangements and services are under the direction of Bath-Naylor Funeral Home of Columbus, KS.