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Published: Friday, 3/14/2003

Longtime teacher in Bryan Schools

BRYAN - Hazel Loutsenhizer, 96, a longtime teacher in the Bryan City Schools who led church and community groups, died of kidney failure Monday in Harborside Healthcare-Northwestern Ohio, Bryan.

She lived independently and had been active until about three weeks ago, her son, Marvin, said.

Mrs. Loutsenhizer retired in the mid-1970s as a third grade teacher at Washington Elementary School after 22 years in the city school district. She taught earlier at Lincoln Elementary. In retirement, she was a special-education teacher at St. Patrick School in Bryan and tutored foreign students in her home.

“She had a way of working with children and motivating them and helping them learn,” her son said.

He had first-hand experience: She was his third-grade teacher.

“The first day I had to stand in the corner,” her son recalled. “I found out that a teacher's son doesn't get any special treatment.”

Both of her daughters are teachers. Her daughter Janice Masten was 19 and a first-year fifth grade teacher at Lincoln whose classroom was next to her mother's.

“She helped me set up my room and gave me some hints when I need them, but she didn't meddle,” she said. “Her love of life and of work and of kids - I think that's what I got from her most.”

Mrs. Loutsenhizer was born on a farm near Kunkle, Ohio, and was a graduate of Kunkle High School. She received a teaching certificate from Manchester College in Indiana. She taught primary grades in Kunkle and Pioneer, Ohio, schools. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1965 from Bowling Green State University.

Mrs. Loutsenhizer was involved in the choirs at Lick Creek Church of the Brethren, Bryan, for more than 65 years. She directed the chancel, junior, children's, and bell choirs for many years. She, daughter Janice, and granddaughter Julie Harris sang as a trio for a Christmas, 2001, church service.

She was an ex-president of the Church of the Brethren northern Ohio district women's group. Mrs. Loutsenhizer was a board member of Bryan Community Concerts and belonged to the Bay View Study Club, a women's book review group.

She had been president of the Williams County Retired Teachers Association and an executive committee member of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association.

She made a point of holding family birthday parties and enjoyed travels to visit relatives around the country.

“She was a person who was always thinking and had an active mind,” her son said. “She always worked to do things the best she could. She would be the type of person who took on the challenge and got involved.”

Surviving are her son, Marvin Loutsenhizer; daughters, Janice Masten and Joan Thompson; sister, Blanche McNamee; six grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; five great-grandchildren, and 14 step-great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today in Lick Creek Church of the Brethren, Bryan. Arrangements are by the Rice-Burr Mortuary, Bryan.

The family requests tributes to the church or the scholarship fund of the Retired Teachers Association of Williams County.

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