Hazel Rittenhouse
Hazel Rittenhouse

Obituary of Hazel M. Rittenhouse

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Hazel M. Rittenhouse passed away peacefully on April 6, 2021 at Arnot Ogden Hospital in Elmira, NY. She was 94 years old, and her demise was brought about by the COVID virus. Born in 1926 in Ulysses PA, Hazel grew up in the Mount Morris NY area. She graduated from high school at the age of 16 and subsequently earned a nursing degree in NYC and became a registered nurse. She married her high school sweetheart, Lloyd Rittenhouse, and they raised their family in Bath NY. Hazel had many great friends and neighbors in the Bath area, and her family wishes to thank them all for the kindness they showed over the decades. She spent happy evenings at The American Legion, participating in conversation, one of her favorite activities, which she described as “chewing the fat.” In addition to her work in nursing and homemaking, she was an accomplished seamstress and writer. She founded and presided over the Bath Area Writer’s Group for nearly 40 years, with monthly meetings, most recently taking place in the Dormann Library in Bath. An appropriate example of her writing: When I Die by Hazel Rittenhouse I want to be cremated. I want my ashes, like seeds, To be planted, not buried. Did you ever put radish seeds Six feet under? No box for me. I want a chance to grow. I want someone to spade the ground, Let the roots of the weeds Lay in the sun for a day or two Then turn the soil once more. If there are worms, Please pick them up. They’ve never bothered me In my lifetime; They won’t bother me now, Save them in a green curved can That attaches to your belt, Whoever you are. Go fishing When the task is done. If you have time, Would you pick off the stones, (Or rake them off, That’s good enough.) Oh, one more thing here, If I die in winter, Will you wait until spring Until all danger of frost is past? I do best in temperatures around 50 or 60 or 70. Store me in a cool dry place, Preferably not in a shaker-top jar. I might be mistaken for pepper And wasted On someone’s turkey sandwich. I’d like a little fertilizer 5-10-5…but go easy I don’t want to be huge Like that pumpkin At the fair. Spread my ashes evenly In nice neat rows. Maybe the next time around Neatness will be one of my traits. It wasn’t this time. Maybe the world isn’t ready For more Me(s). Throw in anything You can think of That might make me kinder, More concerned for others. Potato peelings, coffee grounds, A few dead fish. Cover me lightly And keep me watered. Please don’t thin me out If I come up crowded. After living alone These past few years, Crowding will feel so good. What’s that? You ask, “Where?” Well, down back of the trailer, Where the soil is dark and loamy. That’s a good spot. My husband used to say, “That ground will grow anything.” Hazel was pre-deceased by her husband Lloyd and her son Roger. She is survived by Janet (Bob) Ellis, Linda Rittenhouse, Philip (Maryanne) Rittenhouse, Samantha Rittenhouse, Bryan (Sheila) Rittenhouse, as well as numerous nephews, nieces and grandchildren. In accordance with Hazel’s wishes, there will be no funeral services or calling hours. Private burial will take place at a later date at the Bath National Cemetery. If you would like to make a donation in Hazel’s name, please do so for the Dormann Library, 101 West Morris Street, Bath, NY 14810
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