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July 27, 1910 - September 15, 2013 KELLER, TX Verna Marie Renfro, 103, was born in Yukon, Oklahoma, on July 27, 1910, to Arthur and Jennie Hazleton. She passed away on September 15, 2013, in Keller, Texas. She graduated from Yukon high School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and the girls varsity basketball team. She attended the University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1931 with a graduate nurse degree. In 1943, she received a B.S. degree from George Peabody College for Teachers, now a part of Vanderbilt University. She did additional graduate study and course work at the Chicago Lying-in Hospital and Dispensary in affiliation with the University of Chicago, Syracuse University, the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, the University of Michigan, and Columbia University. Marie served as a hospital nurse in Oklahoma City for four years. She joined the Oklahoma State Department of Health in 1935, serving as a staff nurse, supervising nurse in Creek County and Muskogee County, and for ten years as a nursing consultant in the tuberculosis and chronic disease program. In 1944, she volunteered to serve as an Army Nurse. Assigned to the 42nd General Hospital Corps, now 2nd Lt. Hazleton sailed on the Queen Mary, landing in Scotland. After the Normandy Invasion, she served at the Army Hospital near Sissone, France, (in a battle zone but not at the front lines). At the conclusion of the war in Europe, she returned to public health work, serving for one year as the chief nurse for the Veterans Administration Regional Office in Oklahoma City. In 1959, she became director, Division of Public Health Nursing of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department and Visiting Nurses Association, from which she retired in 1972. In retirement, Marie became an active participant in the Friendship Force program, traveling to more than ten countries, living with local families. Her family enjoyed pictures of Marie on a camel in Egypt and letters from Machu Pichu and other exotic locales when she was in her eighties. She very much enjoyed hosting families that had hosted her in these localities. She was also active in the League of Women Voters and the First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City, where she had been a member since 1937. She was a contributing member and supporter of many environmental, public health, and progressive political organizations. Marie married Chester R. Renfro, of Oklahoma City, in September 1972. They were married for seven years until his death in 1979. She was also preceded in death by her brother, Alfred Larson Hazleton; and by her step-grandson, David Renfro. She is survived by her nephew, Jared Hazleton, of Burnet, Texas; niece, Susan Frances Hazleton, of Hillsboro, Oregon; step-grandsons: Russell Crain, of Oklahoma City; Danny Crain, of Plano, Texas; and Brian Crain, of Tulsa; and step-granddaughter, Susie Crain, of Oklahoma City. Marie also took delight in numerous grand and great-grandnieces and nephews. A Memorial Service will be held for Marie at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 6 at the First Unitarian Church in Oklahoma City.

Published in The Oklahoman on Sept. 29, 2013
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