Hazel Marie Stouffer Minkel was born on July 5, 1922, at home in Buckingham, Iowa to Carl and Florence Stouffer. Hazel graduated from Geneseo High School in 1939 and went on to Gates Business College. She worked at Rath Packing Company in Waterloo for 5 years. Hazel took a train to Hattiesburg, Mississippi where Robert Minkel was stationed in the US Army prior to his deployment to Japan. They were married there on June 16, 1945.
When Bob was discharged from the Army they made their home on the family farm. She was a homemaker until both her sons were in school, then she accepted the position of secretary to the school superintendent at the Geneseo school. When Geneseo merged with Dysart Consolidated in 1967, Hazel became the secretary to the principal and later took on the position of secretary with the Dysart-Geneseo School Board until her retirement. Hazel and Bob made several trips traveling in the United States to visit relatives and attend family functions. She also enjoyed playing cards and was an avid crossword puzzle enthusiast.
In October 2011, Bob and Hazel moved into an assisted living apartment at Sunrise Suites in Traer. After Bob's death in August 2012, she remained in assisted living until her move to the care center in December 2013. Hazel passed away on February 18, 2014, at Sunrise Hill Care Center in Traer at the age of 91. She was preceded in death by her husband and her sister Pauline. Hazel is survived by her two sons, Brian (Pat) of Woodstock, GA and Joel of Traer, IA; her sister Sandy Boomer of Traer; two grandchildren, Mike (Penny) Nation of Aurora, CO and Michelle (Steve) Barber; eight great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.