August 16, 2003

Hazel June Pilgrim, 86, Albert Lea



The Funeral Service for Hazel June Pilgrim of 905 Maplehill, Albert Lea, will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 18, 2003 at the First Baptist Church in Albert Lea. Rev. Clayton Balsley will officiate. Interment will be in Graceland Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Sunday at Bonnerup Funeral Service, and one hour before the service at the church.



Hazel died on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2003 at the Albert Lea Medical Center. She was 86. She was born on June 14, 1917, in Fairmont, Minn. the daughter of Addison "Pop" and Lula (Palmer) Leeper.



She moved to Albert Lea with her family in the 1930s. Hazel was the first woman to be hired at the American Gas Plant. During the war years she lived in St. Paul and was a mechanic for the airlines. She later went to Los Angeles to "Elevator School."



On Oct. 4,1940, she married LeRoy Pilgrim in Las Vegas, Nev. Following their marriage they lived in Fairmont, Minn., where they owned and operated a maid rite shop. They later made their home in Albert Lea, where she held various jobs.



She was a member of the First Baptist Church. Hazel was a charter member of the Musicians Union and had played in several area bands. For many years she enjoyed playing keyboard with "Two Kings and A Queen," with her husband on drums and Paul Schnarr on guitar. At the Elks Club she enjoyed playing with the"Kulana Ukettes" group and had also been "Doe of the Year." Other activities she enjoyed include: being a member of the Legion Auxiliary, the V.F.W. Auxiliary, on the R.S.V.P. Board, the Senior Citizens Advisory Board, and volunteering for the Salvation Army.



Hazel loved kids and was an escort for the Shrine Club taking children to the Shrine Circus and also worked with children at Halverson School in the library. She did a lot of handi-work especially knitting and crocheting.



Hazel is survived by four children and their families: son David Pilgrim and his wife Angelina of New Zealand and children Jason of Texas and Heidi, Anna and Casey of New Zealand; daughter Merry and Mark Cohen and their daughter Ashley Brynn of Nashville, Tenn., son Tom Pilgrim and his wife Linda of Forney, Texas. and their daughters Rebecca and Terrie also of Texas; son Jim Pilgrim and his wife Debbie and their daughter Addie Moe all of Albert Lea, sister-in-law Lily Leeper of Minneapolis, three nephews: Jon Leeper of Minneapolis, Chris Leeper of Vancouver, Wash., Terry Kilcoyne of Maryland and Hazel's special friend Bonnie Latham of Albert Lea.



She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband LeRoy in 1987, two


brothers Vernon and Marlan "Bud"; three sisters: Olive, Ruth, and Alice.



Hazel left these words to share: "God, take care of my family, I love all my children, they have all been good to me. I love all my grandchildren. I will see all of you, again some day."