CANFIELD — On Saturday, April 9, 2022, the Rev. Terrence J. Hazel, Pastor Emeritus, 72, kicked the bucket!
(The above wording was requested by Father Terry to hopefully make this tribute memorable and bring a smile to your face).
Father Terry was born May 21, 1949, in Youngstown, son of Hugh Kenneth and Mary Irene McGowan Hazel.
On June 7, 2021, Father Terry marked his 46th anniversary of his ordination as a priest. (Priesthood was a calling for Terry; he knew as early as second grade that he wanted to become a priest). He retired from active priesthood on July 1, 2021.
He attended St. Christine, Volney Rogers, and one year at Chaney High School before entering St. Gregory High School in Cincinnati to begin studies for priesthood. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Gregory College and a master’s in theology from Mount St. Mary’s of the West Seminary in Cincinnati. He also holds a master’s degree in secondary education administration from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike.
Father Hazel was ordained on June 7, 1975, by Bishop James W. Malone at St. Columba Cathedral. He started as a faculty member at Ursuline High School and then in 1978, transferred to Warren JFK as an administrative assistant.
In 1986, he was appointed as principal of Louisville’s St. Thomas Aquinas High School. In 1995, he became canonical pastor of Rootstown St. Peter of the Fields Parish. In 1997, he became pastor of Canfield St. Michael Parish. In addition, he served as a member of the diocesan College of Consultors and continued to serve as defender of the bond for the appellate section of the diocesan tribunal, and as diocesan director of Catholic Scouting. He also was dean of Mahoning County South Deanery.
Father Hazel was involved in other ministries over the years. His brother, Ronnie, had Down syndrome, which drew him to minister to people with developmental and physical challenges. He was one of two priests in the diocese to know sign language.
Father Terry was very fond of antique cars, shoes (especially Air Jordans) and he even flew once in the Goodyear Blimp. Many would agree that he gave insightful and touching homilies. He always said that he has a lot to be grateful for, and St. Michael’s Parish in Canfield is one of those experiences. He would say ”In a parish, you watch people grow — a child growing into an adult and an adult growing in grace, knowledge and faith.” Father Terry hoped that one of his legacies at St. Michael’s would be that he was a pastor who empowered others to do ministries with people taking ownership of a ministry and doing it. Father Terry would tell you “The priesthood is a very good way to journey through this world.”
Father Terry is survived by a sister, Diane Wimer of Hubbard; four nephews, Anthony (April) Davis of Canfield, Ken (Jessica) Davis of North Carolina, and Nevan and Nolan Hazel of Michigan; three nieces, Kimberly (Robert) Jenkins of Hubbard, Terri (Tony) Watters of Virginia and Hanna (Ryan) Hotchkiss of Michigan; as well as four great-nieces, Kayla Jenkins, Alexis Davis, Natalie Davis and Abigail Hotchkiss; and three great-nephews, Alex Watters, Ace Davis and Otis Hotchkiss, with another one on the way.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Ronnie and Thomas Hazel, and sister, Nancy Hazel.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at St. Michael Church, Canfield, officiated by Bishop David Bonnar.
Family and friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at St. Michael Church, where evening vespers will take place at 7 p.m.
Professional arrangements are being handled by the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel.