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Hazel I. (Ruff) Howell

May 16, 1923 ~ March 15, 2021 (age 97)

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Hazel I. “Sarge” Howell, of Masury, Ohio, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Monday, March 15, 2021, while a patient at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center, Youngstown, Ohio, following complications from a recent fall. She was 97.

Ms. Hazel was born on May 16, 1923, in Belmont County, Ohio, a daughter to George W. & Mabel C. (Thornberry) Ruff.

A 1941 graduate from Barnesville High School, she furthered her education at Thiel College where she studied Economics. She continued her educational pursuits in Agriculture by attending the Ohio State University.

She was passionate about her work. Hazel was a longtime bookkeeper for the Farm Bureau in Columbus, Ohio. Furthermore, she also worked at the Tool Warehouse in Maple Heights, Ohio.

Her faith led her to the Church of Christ in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, where she participated in various activities including the outreach ministries. In addition, she was a volunteer with Hospice of Sharon Regional for many years. However, “Sarge” may be best remembered for her tireless dedication to the Ladies Auxiliary of the Brookfield Township Fire Department. She joined the ladies in 1998 and was always available to help work the Red Cross blood drives, funeral dinners, community luncheons, memorial services, and any other function held at the fire hall.

In her spare time, she enjoyed crocheting. She had traveled to 47 states, as well as to Canada, Mexico, and Scotland.

Hazel genuinely cared for her family, friends, community, and her church. She did not accept praise very well for her achievements. But rather, she considered it her duty to serve in her own humble way. She was always upbeat and had a positive attitude. She will definitely be missed by all who knew her. Her last act of service was of the gift of herself to the Anatomical Department of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

She is survived by: her nephews, Charles (Terry) Ruff, of Clifton Park, New York, and Thomas A. (Susan) Ruff, of Caldwell, Ohio; her niece, Cindy Ruff, of Hermitage; her many great & great-great nieces and nephews on both sides; and her countless friends of all ages.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lester B. Howell, whom she married January 2, 1949, he died February 11, 1984; and her brother, William G. Ruff.

A memorial service honoring Hazel will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at the Church of Christ, located at 340 Sunset Blvd., Hermitage, Pennsylvania, 16148, where family and friends are welcome to share in a time of gathering at the church beginning at 12:00 PM until the time of service.

As suggested by her family, memorial contributions can be made to the church.

Expressions of sympathy may be left for her family at

Coordination of this tribute for Ms. Hazel was presented by Daniel Briceland, Owner & Director of Briceland Funeral Service, 379 State Route 7, SE, Brookfield, Ohio 44403. (330-509-3135).

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Hazel I. (Ruff) Howell, please visit our floral store.


Gathering of Family and Friends
May 15, 2021

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Memorial Service
May 15, 2021

1:00 PM

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