Hazel Ione Chancellor, age 94, of Lamar, MO, passed away June 17, 2020, at Freeman Medical Center, Joplin, MO, from complications due to a fall on June 15th while tending flowerbeds at her home.
Ione was born on January 18, 1926, in Marceline, MO. She was introduced to her future husband, Richard Chancellor, around 1940 by her high school band director, Don Davis, who was Richard’s nephew. She graduated in 1944 from Marceline High School and immediately joined her sister, Ernestine, in Kansas City, working the production line at Pratt and Whitney, making bomber engines while Richard was in the US Army Air Corps as a B-24 bomber pilot in the European Theater. After the liberation of Europe, and Richard’s return from POW captivity, they were married on June 23, 1945, in Lamar at the H.C. Chancellor residence that became her home in 1951.
Ione was a talented baton twirler and baritone saxophone player in her youth, winning state and national titles. Ione, her sister Ernestine, and their mother Hazel were the free farm labor force for her Dad’s Depression Era business of truck farming vegetables, fruits, and bedding flats of flowers.
Ione and Richard raised four children in Lamar, with Richard working at the Lawn Boy factory as the Plant Superintendent, and, after Lawn Boy abandoned Lamar, as a teller then eventually the President of Barton County State Bank. During these halcyon days of post-war America, Ione was a homemaker and devoted supporter of her family and community. With her family-raising days almost over she enrolled in the Nursing program at Missouri Southern, earning her R.N. pin in 1971. She retired after 20-plus years working swing and graveyard shifts at Barton County Memorial Hospital. She and Richard enjoyed almost a decade of travel and enjoyment of the arts before Richard’s passing in 2000. You couldn’t name a place you had been without her saying, “Yes, I remember visiting there.”
Besides a brief and wonderful renewal of acquaintance with a war era admirer, K.P., from Kansas City, Ione lived alone in the house where she was married and where she tended the most beautiful flowerbeds imaginable, first with a growing family, then with a loving retired husband, then as a widow of 20 years.
Ione was preceded in death by her only daughter, Vicki, who tragically died from childbirth complications in 1969, by her husband of almost 55 years, Richard, in 2000, and by her youngest son, Clay, in 2008. Survivors include her oldest son Brad and family, of Columbia, MO, her daughter Vicki’s daughter Paige and family, of Franktown, CO and son Jason and family, of Timnath, CO, and her middle son Eric and family, of Falls Church, VA.
Ione was a quiet, almost stoic at times, disciplined person who kept an immaculate house, worked miracles with flowers and flowerbeds, was a faithful church attendee, a swim coach, a nurse, a lifelong FDR Democrat, a supporter of NPR and the arts, and a giver to many charities and social justice causes. She was Christ among us, but now she rejoices with her long deceased loved ones in Heaven, as we miss her presence among us until the day we, too, rejoice again with her.
Funeral services at the Lamar Methodist Church will be held at a later date due to COVID-19 concerns. Interment will be at Lake Cemetery next to her husband, daughter, and youngest son. Donations in Ione’s memory can be made to any cause supporting the arts or the common good of humanity and the environment.
Funeral arrangements under the direction of Daniel Funeral Home.
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