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Hazel Mae Crain, 86, of Princeton died Jan. 13, 2013, in Perry Memorial Hospital, Princeton.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Friday in Open Prairie United Church of Christ, Princeton. The Rev. Mary Gay McKinney will officiate. Cremation rites have been accorded. Burial will be at a later time in Greenwood Cemetery, Bureau. Norberg Memorial Home, Princeton is handling arrangements.
She was born March 22, 1926, in Princeton and was the only child of Arthur and Pearl (Tunis) Crain. She attended Henry schools and spent 42 years in education. After receiving the baccalaureate degree from Northern Illinois State Teachers College, she taught home economics eight years. She earned a master of education in vocational education from Colorado A&M, Fort Collins in 1954, and taught there. From 1956-58, she was a missionary in Turkey, teaching and serving as dean of the Orta School at American Kiz Lisesi, Uskudar, Istanbul. She brought a foster daughter, Senel Tuzun “Aksu” with her when she returned home. Senel graduated from Henry High School and the University of Nebraska before returning to Turkey. In 1958, Hazel joined the faculty of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and taught summer sessions at Colorado State University. In 1962, she also joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
After earning the doctor of philosophy degree from Colorado State University in 1970, she became the director of the Center for Business and Vocational Teacher Education at UNL and retired as chairman of the Department of Vocational and Adult Education UNL in 1989. During her tenure, she was awarded more than $1 million in grants and was instrumental in establishing a formal relationship between her department and East China Normal University in Shanghai, China. She received honors and awards including Outstanding Vocational Educator from Nebraska and American Vocational Associations; Honorary Member of Future Homemakers of America; and the Sue Tidball Award for Creative Humanity at UNL. She was an officer of of Nebraska and American Vocational Associations, Nebraska and American Home Economics Associations and American Vocational Teacher Education Association. She served as president of the national board of directors for the Future Homemakers of America. She was a member of Danish Sisterhood of America, Bureau County Genealogical Society and Open Prairie UCC.
Survivors include cousins; Senel Aksu’s family; her close friends from Turkey, Denmark, China, Thailand and the USA; and her longtime companion, Dr. Esther Bennett.
Memorials may be directed to Open Prairie UCC, 25 E. Marion St., Princeton, IL 61356 or to the Dr. Hazel Crain Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508.