Mrs. Hazel Y. Rouse passed away peacefully with family by her side on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Indiana. She was born in Freeport, Illinois on March 15, 1941 to the late Thomas and late Anna (Belle) Green. Hazel was a wonderful sister, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She lived an outstanding life and was a source of strength, support, and encouragement to so many of the people who knew her. She modeled the “Proverbs 31 Woman” to her children, grandchildren and church family.
Hazel grew up in Freeport with her five siblings: Mamie Strider and William Green, both of whom preceded her in death; Sherma (Stanley) Owens of Lehigh Acres, Florida; Brian Green (Sarah) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Arlyn Green of High Point, North Carolina. Hazel was previously a member of St. Paul Baptist Church, where she used her beautiful soprano voice by singing in the youth choir. She attended East Side Elementary, Freeport Junior High and graduated from Freeport Senior High in 1958. After high school Hazel trained to become a radiologic technician at Methodist Hospital in Gary, Indiana.
While in training, she met and fell in love with Rev. Timothy A. Rouse. They married on July 11, 1964, in Freeport. They moved to South Bend, Indiana in 1966. They were married for 50 years until Timothy’s death on October 18, 2014. They are the parents of six daughters (AKA Tim and Hazel’s girls) Karleen (Steve) Breathett of Lexington, Kentucky; Kelli (Cedric) Buchanon of Denver, Colorado; Kimberly Hurt of South Bend; Karin White of Southaven, Mississippi; Kailah (Yul) Lee of Indianapolis, Indiana and by joyous family acclamation, the sixth daughter Sharon Hawkins also of South Bend. Her 17 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren affectionately called her “Honey.” Also left to hold dear her memories are her in-laws: Rev. Dr. Michael (Alice) Rouse, Rosamond Rouse Drake Ferguson, Anthony Rouse, Kathy Rouse Stelivan, and Fredrick Rouse, as well a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and a multitude of friends.
Hazel chose to become a medical professional because she loved to nurture and care for people. Hazel was employed at South Bend Orthopedics for over 35 years. Consequently, she got to meet and treat athletes from the University of Notre Dame which she loved since she was a diehard Notre Dame Football fan and enjoyed spending Saturdays watching or attending the games. She was an avid reader and leaves behind multiple bookcases filled with books on a variety of topics. She spent her mornings reading her three favorite newspapers, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the South Bend Tribune. Hazel loved to stay up to date on current events so her TV was always on MSNBC. Hazel’s other favorite hobby was shopping. She especially enjoyed her annual Christmas shopping trip to Merrillville, Indiana with her dear friend Sharon Manley.
Hazel was a lifelong Christian. She was the first lady of First AME Zion Church for 24 years. During that time, she served as a deaconess, Quarterly Conference Secretary, was a member of the gospel choir, and was a life member of the Women’s Home and Oversea Missionary Society. In addition to servicing in the local AME Zion church, Hazel served the Chicago District as a member of the Ministers Spouses and Widows Society. Her community service activities included volunteering at the Salvation Army, being a member of African American Women in Touch and singing in the 100 Voices Women’s Choir.
Hazel built a mighty legacy, and she will live in the hearts that she leaves behind.
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