DALE HAZEN, INDEFATIGABLE ISLAND HERO (1928-2016)
It is with both sadness and fond memories that we report the passing of Dale Hazen, who served on the San Juan Preservation Trust’s Board of Trustees for 15 years (1993-2008). Dale died in Anacortes on December 18th at age 88 following a valiant battle with both leukemia and Parkinson’s disease.
A native of Washington State, Dale and his wife, Ann, retired in Anacortes in 1990 after raising two children in Eastern Washington. Their shared love for the San Juan Islands can be traced back to family sailing trips they enjoyed on their boat Sunshine, then later as they cruised in their trawler Bravo. Soon after arriving in Anacortes, Dale jumped headlong into an ambitious effort to bring a diverse group of 22 neighbors together to create our Geary Preserve, a 1.2 mile stretch of natural shoreline along Burrows Bay on Fidalgo Island. This experience attracted Dale to the work of the Preservation Trust, where he presided on the Board of Trustees during a period of significant transition and growth.
In 2001, Dale agreed to serve as co-chair of our $1.1 million Sares Bluff capital campaign to acquire the largest remaining waterfront parcel on Fidalgo Island and then fold it into Skagit County’s adjacent Sharp Park. Dale employed the skills he had honed as a sales executive in the television industry to identify and cajole prospective donors to support this project.
His easygoing manner, fearless nature, and indefatigable sense of purpose ultimately overcame countless obstacles as we pushed the project to success in May 2003. Now named Montgomery-Duban Headlands Park, the trails and vistas throughout this beautiful place are open to the public and serve as permanent reminders of the many contributions Dale Hazen made during his remarkable tenure with this organization.
Dale was a friend and mentor to many of us associated with the San Juan Preservation Trust. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ann and her family as we celebrate the life of a man who has made such a significant and lasting difference in these islands.
Read Dale’s obituary in the Whidbey News-Times.