Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren
Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren
Get Notifications:
Get Notifications:

Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren, age 89 of Colfax, passed away on Wednesday, November 03, 2021 at home in her apartment at Newton Village in Newton, Iowa. Public graveside services will be held on Monday, November 08, 2021 at 3:00 pm at Colfax Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Colfax Public Library. Condolences may be left for the family at

The daughter of Harris and Ruth (Williams) Thomas, Hazel, the youngest of eight children, was born on December 17, 1931 in Mitchellville, Iowa. She graduated from Mitchellville High School in 1950. On September 8, 1952, she was united in marriage to John Van Ekeren. Hazel worked as a bank clerk, Colfax City Hall clerk, and an administrative assistant at Drake University. She enjoyed volunteering at the Neal Smith Wildlife Center, at the Colfax Public library, the Colfax-Mingo Area Food Pantry, and the Howard Street Christian church before her health prevented her from doing so. Hazel was a lifelong fan of basketball, having played in high school. She enjoyed watching college basketball and both the WNBA and NBA. She also enjoyed knitting, making sure everyone in the family had new slippers at Christmas. Most of all Hazel enjoyed spending time with her family.

Those left to honor her memory include her daughters, Jodi Shelton of St. Charles, Vicki (Randy) Gunsaulus of Newton and Kristi (Robin) Shepard of Cottage Grove, WI; her grandchildren, Mike (Michaela) Gunsaulus, Matthew (Jessa Dickinson) Gunsaulus, Molly (Dan) Brandhorst, Dawn (Umang) Kasotia, great grandchildren, Madden, Miles, and Mae Gunsaulus, Brynn, Cole, and Parker Brandhorst, and Arjun Kasotia, sisters-in-law Virginia Thomas and Jeanne Crane. Preceding Hazel in death were her husband, parents, son-in-law Don Shelton, and her seven brothers and sisters, Harry Thomas, John Thomas, Chuck Thomas, Don Thomas, Norma Hodge, Shirley Gooden, and Stella English.

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren, please visit our Tribute Store



Colfax Cemetery
Weaver Street
Colfax, Iowa 50054
3:00 PM

Directions sent!

Email Directions

Enter an email address below.
Please separate multiple emails with a coma.

Text Directions

Enter a mobile number below


Plant a tree in memory of Hazel

An environmentally friendly option

M Meg Prestigiacomo on Nov 9, 2021

With deepest sympathy,Memorial Tree was purchased for the family of Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren by Meg Prestigiacomo.

C Christy Damon on Nov 8, 2021

Kristi, Jodi, Vicki and families,
Your mom was such a sweet and caring person. She was such a good friend to my family and a lot of us did receive her wonderful slippers! I will miss talking to her on the phone. Hazel will be truly missed but her memories will live on.

  Maria Wharff Cameron on Nov 8, 2021

Dear Kristi,

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I immediately flashed back to high school and remembered her making pork chops Hawaiian for us before we went back for a basketball game and how warm and welcome it felt to come to your house.

Maria Cameron

D Dino and Virginia. Kostes on Nov 8, 2021

Hazel was a dear friend of ours. She always made popcorn cake and slippers every year for us. She is what you would call a very true caring friend. I will miss my chats on the phone with her. We will miss her deeply
Our thoughts and prayers are with her family

Dino and Virginia. Kostes

B Brenda Askland on Nov 7, 2021

Aunt Hazel and her brother, Don Thomas.

K Kim Hearn on Nov 7, 2021

Kristi and family - my deepest sympathy as you grieve the loss of your mom - hoping the treasured memories help in the healing. KimMemorial Tree was purchased for the family of Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren by Kim Hearn.

S Steve & Shirley Thomas on Nov 7, 2021

Steve and I will miss Aunt Hazel. So enjoyed her phone calls as well as the memories of the Thomas Reunions at Mitchellville Enjoyed our visit with her in June. Steve & Shirley Thomas

K Kristine Clark & Ali Mousa on Nov 6, 2021

Vicki, Randy, Mike, Matt, and Molly: We are thinking of you during this difficult time. With heartfelt condolences...Peaceful Condolences was purchased for the family of Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren by Kristine Clark & Ali Mousa.

D Duane Brown on Nov 6, 2021

Always enjoyed being around Hazel. Remember well our week in Kentucky doing habitat work, and just her welcoming face at all church activities. Missed seeing her when she moved to Newton. Our sincere condolences to all the family.
Grace&Duane Brown



Add a photo
Iframe toggler
Send Sympathy Gifts
Free Newsletter
Find Us On Facebook

Share Photo/Memorial Tributes

Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren

Add to Your Calendar

Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren

Obit Checkin

Get Obituary Notifications

We will notify you soon.

Grief Support

Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren

Get Updates - tribute notifications

Get SMS Notifications

You will receive a notification text whenever there's an update to this obituary.

Thank you for sharing!

Provide comfort for the family by planting a tree in memory of Hazel Mildred Van Ekeren

Plant a Tree