News Column

Hazelriggs low-key about milestone anniversary

June 6, 2014

By Suzi Bartholomy, Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.

June 06--Before O.D. Hazelrigg was born in 1919, his dad Ollie Hazelrigg played the cornet in the Masonville Concert Band. After his dad died, he became the keeper of the instrument, and for years it has been displayed in his home with a photo of the band.

"That horn has been a symbol of music to the family," said Libby Alexander, daughter of Hazelrigg and his wife, Ruth.

Her grandfather Ollie also played the violin and piano.

"My sister (Joan Krebs) and I play (piano), but Dad is incredible," Alexander said. "He plays big band music and standards from the '30s and '40s."

This weekend, Hazelrigg will probably play for his family at the couple's 70th wedding anniversary celebration.

Hazelrigg, 95, and wife Ruth, 90, appear much younger than their years. The credit for that goes to his wife, Hazelrigg said.

"I pay attention to nutrition, and we watch our diets," she said.

"We don't overindulge," Ruth Hazelrigg said. She attributes their good health to maintaining their weight.

"She walks a mile every morning," Hazelrigg said.

The couple are equally attentive to their mental health. "We're both readers," Ruth Hazelrigg said.

"The grandchildren give them really interesting and complex books for their birthdays and Christmas," Alexander said.

The couple were married in 1944 at a local parsonage. Their wedding was a small, simple affair, Ruth Hazelrigg said, and this weekend will be the same.

"We didn't want to call a lot of attention to it," she said.

"We met at church," O.D. Hazelrigg said. He saw an attractive girl and wanted to meet her.

"I don't know what I thought of him, it's been too long ago to remember,"

Ruth Hazelrigg said while smiling at her husband.

"He still tells me I'm pretty," she said.

"I'm a good judge of women's looks," O.D. Hazelrigg said.

Hazelrigg worked 30 years at Green River Steel as an industrial accountant and has been retired 30 years.

Older people reluctant to "learn new tricks, should talk to my dad," Alexander said. His mission is to learn something new every day, and he spends a lot of time online, she said.

"My parents have always been young and eager to do something new," Alexander said.

"We've always gotten along," Ruth Hazelrigg said. "And we've always had good relationships with our daughters. They're our friends, and they've shared their friends with us."

"We never considered divorce, but murder, yes," O.D. Hazelrigg said with a grin. The couple's banter is playful and loving.

They don't have advice for couples seeking a long marriage, except "we've always gone to church," Ruth Hazelrigg said.

Suzi Bartholomy, 691-7293,


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Source: Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY)

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