Marilla Hazel Bauer was born February 20, 1916 in Leoti, Kansas and died August 12, 2019 in Everett, Washington. She was a small-town girl whose father owned a horse ranch on the western prairie of Kansas in the horse-and-buggy era. Hazel was the eldest of seven children (three brothers and three sisters) and is survived by a sister, Alice Marie (Sue) Praast of Bonney Lake, Washington.

Hazel’s children and spouses include: Rita and Kirk Ratajesak of Arlington, Washington, Roger and Janice Bauer of Liberty Lake, Washington. Her grandchildren are Andrea and Matt Gray, David and Billie Bauer, Alecia Willits, Jason Willits, Jennifer and Eric Stumm, and Tracey Smith. Hazel has six great-grand children, Cory and Allie Gray, Erin Bauer, Riley Zimmerman, and Parker and Elizabeth Stumm. She is also leaving many loving nieces, nephews, and friends.

Hazel moved to Seattle, Washington in 1959 and worked for over 22 years at the National Public Service Life Insurance Company. After retiring in 1981, she served for many years as a member of the Seattle Housing Authority’s Senior Advocacy Council. Hazel received special training and worked with at-risk kids in the schools and tutored at Blaine Elementary School, Seattle. The children called her their ‘School Grandma.’

Hazel was a teacher at heart serving as Director of Christian Education and Coordinator for Seattle Stake Temple School, touching many lives while teaching and facilitating classes throughout her life. In 1986 she was ordained as a minister in the Community of Christ Church and presided as pastor of the Rainier Valley Congregation. She proudly served as a delegate to the World Church Conference in Independence for many years.

Hazel experienced the world as “family” and was known for her inclusive love for all people, her abiding faith, and unquenchable desire for learning. She was a patient and persistent system changer challenging those around her to think, rethink, and expand their understanding and application of moral and religious precepts. Hazel was convinced that, “There is more light and truth to be seen and understood…”

Cards and remembrances can be sent to the family via Rita Ratajesak,
4725 – 260th PL NE, Arlington, WA 98223 or email at