In Memory of

Hazel Doris Mason Estel
(1917 - 2007)

Photos Guest Book Bob Estel tribute Expanded Text
Hazel Doris Mason Estel, 2007

Hazel Doris Mason Estel was born December 25, 1917, in Fulton County, Ohio, to George and Opal (Watkins) Mason. She passed away August 1, 2007 in Fresno CA, at age 89.

Some time before her husband Bob died in March of 2005, she wrote the following biography, which she asked to be used as her obituary:

Our life has been divided roughly into twenty year periods. For the first twenty years we were kids in Ohio - only knew each other for a couple of years. I grew up in Metamora near the Michigan state line, where I graduated from high school.

Starting the next phase, we got married in 1938 and came to California, directly to Mariposa, where we stayed the rest of our lives. Bob worked in saw mills, gold mines and eventually for a local electrician. He built our house in Bootjack.

During this period I was "just a housewife" - did all the cooking, cleaning, and canning - the first seven years without electricity. I made most all of our clothing and entered many of my creations in the fair. I was in PTA and both of us were 4-H leaders, Bob in electrical and mechanical skills, and myself in sewing. In 1949, looking for a family activity that would include our kids, we helped start the Bootjack Stompers Square Dance Club. We were still dancing when the club celebrated its 50th anniversary!

As this twenty year period ended, we sold our Bootjack home and Bob built a new one in town. Bob went into business for himself as an electrical contractor. I went to work as bookkeeper and sales person. This was very enjoyable as we met so many of the people who were moving into the county at that time. It was a great twenty years and we retired in 1976.

After that we devoted our time to our family - both the older generation and the younger one, and to traveling. We went back to Ohio many times to spend the summers, re-acquainting ourselves with our extended family back there. We always tried to take a different route, and have enjoyed much of our America as we crisscrossed the country.

We have devoted much time to researching the genealogy of our ancestors. That is a never-ending, always gratifying experience. We began spending our winters in Mesa, Arizona. We have taken an active part in the Mariposa United Methodist Church, the Golden Agers, and continued our square dance activities.

Soon we will enter the last twenty years. Activities decline but interest will remain. The one constant throughout all these years has been the friends we have made.


Hazel was preceded in death by her husband Bob in 2005, and by three sisters and two brothers. She is survived by two children, Richard Estel of Fresno, and Linda Estel and her partner Anne Tellett of Duluth MN; two granddaughters, Theresa and husband Tim Liddle of Fresno, and Jennifer and husband Rod Neely of Oakhurst; two great grandsons, Johnny Upshaw and his fiancée Brittany Morris, and Michael Liddle; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.

A private burial service was held at the Mariposa Cemetery. A celebration of her life was held at the Mariposa United Methodist Church on Saturday, August 11 at 11 a.m.

Instead of flowers, Hazel requested that any remembrance be made in the form of a donation to the church building fund, to the Mariposa Senior Center, or to the donor’s favorite charity.



Hazel Mason, Fall 1919 The Mason sisters: Lnora, Vivian, Hazel, June (front), about 1930 Hazel, March 24, 1940, at Sebastopol School Bob & Hazel, April 17, 1938
Hazel Mason, Fall 1919 The Mason sisters: Lnora, Vivian, Hazel, June (front), about 1930 Hazel, March 24, 1940, at Sebastopol School Bob & Hazel Estel, April 17, 1938
Bob & Hazel in their shop Bob & Hazel Estel at Cup of Gold Square Dance, probably late 1970s The sisters about 1988: Vivian, Hazel, June, Lnora Hazel and son Dick at Mariposa Alumni Picnic, June 16, 2007
Bob & Hazel in their shop  Bob & Hazel at Cup of Gold Square Dance probably late 1970s The sisters about 1988: Vivian, Hazel, June, Lnora Hazel and son Dick at Mariposa Alumni Picnic, June 16, 2007

Guest Book (Comments, Memories and Tributes)

Click here to Email your comments and memories


I think my earliest memory of my mother is of her being carried into the house by my father and grandfather when my sister was born. This was in the days when women stayed in the hospital for ten days after giving birth, even though those women had probably been born at home to a mother who got up the next day and cooked and cleaned as always.

I also remember my mother singing while she did her housework - I must have been four or younger. I don't know what the song was, but it was a hymn of some kind.

Mother was interested in popular music in her younger days, and just as I did as a teenager, wrote down the top ten each week as presented on Your Hit Parade.

--Dick Estel (son)


From the time that Teri and I were little girls, up until the last time that Rod and I visited Grandma in Mariposa, I remember walking in the door and seeing her coming to us from the kitchen or living room with a big smile on her face, her arms ready to give a nice, big hug. She always did special things for Teri and me. My mom told me that she still has some of the baby dresses that Grandma lovingly made for us when we just wee ones. In some ways, I feel I got even closer to Grandma over the past couple of years. We shared some long and special conversations. I love you, Grandma, and I'll see you again one day.

--Jennifer Estel Neely (granddaughter)


We enjoyed visits to Mesa twice and stopped to see Hazel and Bob. The highlight of visits was at Yosemite. Barbara and I along with a son and his wife met Hazel and Bob, and Barbara's cousin Marion Merrill and wife at the lodge in the Park. We had a fun afternoon of memories and updates. Hazel always kept us informed of old items--clippings, cards and photos. We enjoyed them and made copies for our four children.

--Don & Barbara Watkins (cousin)


I'm so very sorry that your mother has passed on. Seeing her at the reunion was a wonderful surprise and I enjoyed chatting with her. Though it is a natural process of life, losing our parents is very difficult. Wes and I send our condolences. I enjoyed 4-H and camping with Hazel and always held her in the highest regard. She was a wonderful lady.

-- Beverly Van Gundy Bowman (member of the 4-H sewing club)


I am so sorry and shocked!! I had just communicated with her in the beginning of the month and she sounded great--as usual. She was such a wonderful aunt and a delightful woman. The last of the "Mason Girls."

--Mary Leary DeFilio (niece)


I am terribly sorry and very saddened by the news. I always greatly admired Aunt Hazel; she was the rock of the Mason sisters. She, and Uncle Bob, will stay in my memory forever with nothing but good thoughts.

--Don & Dianna Hall & family (nephew)


She was one exceptional lady.  I am so glad that we had the chance to see her this past November.  I will always remember her with great admiration and love.

--Katie Leary (niece)


Katie and I will always remember your mother as a dear and gentle lady with smile on her face and sparkle in her eye.

--Chuck Calanni & Katie Leary


I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Aunt Hazel passing. When I saw her this last May I thought she would live to be 100. I will always remember the family reunions at Mom's and Dad's in Lake Elsinore. The Mason girls would play cards till early morning. What great times!

--Diane Davenport (niece)


I have so many fond memories with my grandmother (Vivian Mason Hall) and Aunt Hazel & Uncle Bob. We had great family times!! Hazel will be missed.

--Rebecca Morales (great-niece)


Aunt Hazel was very special to me and I grieve the loss of the last Mason sister, but rejoice that they are probably laughing up a storm together again.

--Nancy Drefke Teets (niece)



Expanded Text

Since Hazel's story is essentially the same as Bob's, this link takes you to the expanded text on the Bob Estel Tribute page.

Photos Guest Book Bob Estel tribute Expanded Text

Updated December 21, 2016