The obituary of Darlene M. M. Masden, (also known as Dolly, Miss Darlene, Miss Hazelwood, Aunt Darlene, Mommy, Mom, Grandma, Granny, Gran-Gran, Great-Granny, Granny the Great, and Turtledove) written by herself on January 26, 2019.
Darlene Marian May, was born to Richard Francis (Frank) Hazelwood and Alta Elvira Owens Hazelwood on February 8, 1919, in a little log cabin home near Butterfield, Barry County, MO. Three younger siblings preceded Darlene’s birth: Richard Francis Hazelwood, Jr., and a set of twins, Leola and Leona, all who were born prematurely and died at birth.
The family relocated to a small acreage within a mile or so of the Church of God Log Church, where Darlene, in time, attended church and Sunday school with her beloved Aunt Jewel Hazelwood. On this little farm were born siblings Harold, Burl, Ivan, and Dorothy.
In 1925, Darlene’s Daddy sold the little farm for some cash and a Model T touring car. He had to learn to drive it, and as often as not ended up in the woods, from which he had to figure out how to extricate himself and car!
After selling his little farm, her Daddy became a sharecropper. The next farm, to him, was more promising! That involved moving to a new farm in early March, because farmers had to prepare the farm for seeding.
Nadine was born on the next farm, then the family moved to Newton County, Missouri. All these places were too far for Darlene to walk to school. Her mother taught her the ABC’s and 1-2-3’s out of a primer.
In 1927, the family moved to Stark City route and 1/8th of a mile from Liberty School. Darlene and her brothers, Harold and Burl, attended school for the first time in March of 1927 and Glen was born in March at this place. Bobby and Erma Jean were born on the next 2 farms.
In 1931, Darlene went forward in a little Baptist church and asked Jesus into her heart. She was faithful to Him, and He to her all these years. In 1943, she received the Holy Spirit.
In 1932 the family again moved 10 miles west of Neosho, still in Newton County, to the West View School District.
By then, the Ford was gone, and all the transportation they had was by wagon with two horses, Tim and Dinah. Darlene walked 3 and 1/2 miles on an old logging trail up a long hill through the woods to school. That year her Daddy worked on the Roosevelt WPA building roads. He walked eight or nine miles to that job.
In 1933, Roy Lee was born on that little farm. Darlene helped her mother make a dinner for the threshing crew of the little acreage of wheat. The family had nice, fresh straw for their straw mattresses from that threshing.
In 1935, some young people from a small Kansas City Bible School (Gospel Union Mission, 7th and Euclid, Kansas City, MO) came to the Ozarks to “convert the heathen”. They talked her Mom and Dad into letting Darlene go back with them in the fall of 1936. After school was out in May of 1937, the missionaries took her home as they returned to the Ragan Community. By then, Darlene’s folks had returned to the Stark City route, and she elected to stay home and attend High School there, where she later graduated. Roy Lee died in August and Don was born in September of 1937.
Gospel Union Mission was not accredited, so Darlene lost a year of High School. She was then 18 years old, entering as a Sophomore. At Midway High School, she opted to double her class schedule to finish nearer on time to graduate. She represented the Junior Class in a County Scholastic Contest, and won first place in the English Grammar Division. She graduated in 1939, passed the exams for Teacher’s College, and attended Southwest Missouri State Teacher’s College in Springfield, MO.
That summer, she applied for the Liberty School (where she had first attended school) and got the contract. A group of people called “The Fire Baptized Holiness” used Darlene’s schoolroom to hold religious services. Bro. Edward Leulf was the minister. Some people got the impression that Darlene opposed “Holiness” services, but in reality, she was NOT opposed to the services, but to the mess that was left behind for her to clean up in the mornings!
It was in a schoolhouse where services were being held that Darlene’s mother found the Lord. Brother Cargile was minister at that time.
When her school term ended, her Daddy moved them to a little farm in the Mountain Grove district.
On December 7, 1941, in the late afternoon, they got word by radio that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. There were subsequent attacks on Midway Island where Darlene’s brother Harold was stationed in the Marines. The U. S. Troops fought off the Japanese and in the ensuing battle, Harold’s captain was killed. Harold’s leg was severely shattered, but he made a tourniquet out of communication wires and was able to reconnect the communication with headquarters.
In 1942 he was well enough to come home on furlough to Stark City, and in June, married his high school sweetheart. He subsequently became the military instructor at Fort Monmouth.
In August of 1942, Darlene went to the Hephzibah Faith Missionary School in Tabor, IA. From there, she transferred to a sister school, Faith Bible School, in Mitchell, SD, graduating in 1945. She then attended two terms at the Dakota Wesleyan University in 1945-1946.
She met a former student of the Faith Bible School, Horace Masden, in September 1945, and they were married in March of 1946. They then moved to Kansas City where Horace was enrolled in Watchmaking school. At that time they attended a small Wesleyan Methodist Church in Kansas City, KS, pastored by R.E. Britton. They were told that in Lawrence, KS, was a similar church. They had, by this time, moved from Kansas City to the Sunflower Apartments in Sunflower, a former munitions plant.
They began attending the Lawrence Wesleyan Church and were told by Bro. Arley Clark of a farm house for rent north of Lawrence. Horace and Darlene moved there in February 1947. All five of their children were born at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital in town.
*While the five children were in grade school, Darlene went to work as a nurse’s aid at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital, going back to school to earn her B.A. in nursing while the kids were in high school. She worked as an LPN at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital until her retirement in 1986*.
In 1964 all of Darlene’s children began attending Kansas City College and Bible School in Overland Park, KS. Darlene also attended the same college for one year and graduated in 1968.
Meanwhile, Horace’s watchmaking business that he began in 1946 was expanded to include Bible literature. He and Darlene lived in Lawrence for forty years. They retired in March of 1986, moving to Kansas City, KS, to 78th St, a location their son, Paul, had found. Unfortunately, the government came through the area to widen the street, and the Masden home was taken by eminent domain. They then moved to their son, Joel’s, smaller home (Joel and Trudy having moved out) and remained there where Horace died in June, 2006. Their elder son, Paul, and his wife, had moved to Spring Hill, so after several years passed, Darlene moved to Spring Hill and lived with them for 9 years.
Darlene passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter, Rachelle, on July 15, 2019. She is preceded in death by her husband, Horace, in 2006, two sons-in-law, Davide Gale (2013) and Paul Pruett (2018), and ALL of her siblings except for her youngest brother, Don, (and wife, Donna) Hazelwood, of Bartlesville, OK. Darlene leaves behind ALL of her children: Paul (and wife, Diana) Masden of Spring Hill, KS, Elizabeth Gale of Richmond, KY, Rachelle Pruett of Olathe, KS, Micki (and husband, Gayle) Woods of Pomona, CA, and Joel (and wife Trudy) Masden of Kansas City, KS. Also, a host of relatives: cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Darlene says that she’s sorry her obituary is so long, but she couldn’t seem to die any sooner.
In an attempt at humor prior to her passing, she was overheard to remark, “I’m so old that most of my friends have already died and the ones in Heaven probably think I didn’t make it in!”
Rest in peace, Darlene.
*Paragraph added by daughter, Rachelle.