Hazel J. Harmon was born March 2nd, 1946 to Julia and Alexander Bernhardt in Bismarck, North Dakota. The youngest of eleven children, Hazel grew up in a rural household crowded with both love and company. She learned early the arts of traditional cooking, child caring, and housekeeping, and carried these passions throughout her life. At age 10, the Bernhardt family moved to Sunnyvale, CA. and later to Cupertino CA. Hazel attended Cupertino High School where she excelled equally in both academics and socializing. Highly intelligent, Hazel was frequently the winner of debate, speech, spelling and academic competitions. Yet, she was a precocious young woman who made friends easily, eagerly sharing her love for fast cars, live music and high fashion. After graduating in 1964, Hazel worked at the Stanford Medical Center as a physician secretary and attended Junior College. In 1968 she married her soul mate Roy Harmon.
Together Hazel and Roy created a marriage that was truly unique. Hazel worked by Roy’s side each and every day as they managed business after business together. She faithfully built up her business skills and quickly gained a reputation as a creative and shrewd businesswoman. Hazel managed restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars, vending, and catering services in cities throughout California including Redwood City, San Francisco, Menlo Park, Riverside, Oceanside, and Soledad.
Having a visually impaired husband never unsettled Hazel. Instead, she became a zealous lifelong advocate for the Blind and disabled. She worked closely with the Randolph Shepard Venders of America, the Blind/Business Enterprise Program, the California Council of the Blind, as well as other local and national advocacy organizations. Hazel played a principal role in redeveloping the national Venderscope Magazine and served as its editor. Projecting a distinct attitude of inclusion, Hazel could make anyone feel welcomed and valued. She was dedicated to the cause of equality and opportunity for all, and labored tirelessly in this venture. But it was motherhood that was of greatest importance to Hazel.
Nothing made her more proud than being a mother. Hazel often said that the best days of her life were the births of her two children Brien and Alexa. She insisted on providing an idyllic childhood for her children and no sacrifice was too great. Her generous spirit shined brightest upon beloved children. Her relationships with Brien and Alexa were extremely close, serving as their trusted confidant, advisor, and friend. Hazel encouraged her family to live life to its fullest potential.
Hazel had many hobbies including sewing, crafting, cooking, doll collecting, and attending sporting events featuring the 49ers, Chargers, and St. Louis Cardinals. She travelled to cities throughout the United States accumulating adventures with her family, friends, and co-workers. She was an incredible person, and was so supportive and loving that it is difficult to put into words how much she will be missed.
Hazel was preceded in death by her parents and 6 brothers. She is survived by her husband Roy, son Brien, daughter Alexa, sisters Rosella, Lillian, and Estella, brother Julius, Goddaughter Stacy, and by countless others who carry on her memory by living a life filled with love, hope and compassion.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to the Durward K. McDaniel Legal Fund for the defense of the Blind community.
Funeral Mass to be held on Monday March 2nd. At 1pm At St. Mary’s Star of Sea Church in Oceanside Final Resting Place is Eternal Hills Memorial Park. Please visit www.dignitymemorial.com for online Memorial