Barbie clothing designer celebrates 100th birthday in Armstrong

Hazel Thompson celebrated her 100th birthday Aug. 25, 2021, at Heaton Place in Armstrong. (Contributed)
Hazel Thompson celebrated her 100th birthday Aug. 25, 2021, at Heaton Place in Armstrong. (Contributed)
Hazel Thompson celebrated her 100th birthday Aug. 25, 2021, at Heaton Place in Armstrong. (Contributed)
Hazel Thompson celebrated her 100th birthday Aug. 25, 2021, at Heaton Place in Armstrong. (Contributed)

Don’t let turning 100 years old fool you.

Born on Aug. 25, 1921, Hazel Thompson, a beautiful resident of Heaton Place Retirement Community in Armstrong, doesn’t allow her age to deter her from living life to the fullest.

“I think I have probably lived through the best 100 years,” Thompson said. “Think about it, we lived through a really neat age; everything from horse and wagon to man on the moon.”

“And what about all the inventions along the way: electricity, power, and flushing toilets, to name a few,” she said. “Growing up we had a path and not a bath.”

With four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, Hazel has without a doubt planted many seeds of life experience on to them all.

“Grandma means home to me; she’s a master at conversation, and a living encyclopedia of local history, I learn so much every time we’re together,” says one grandson.

The whole family reaps the benefits of Hazel’s amazing creative talent.

Some of the many goodies they receive are knitted mittens, toques, slippers, quilts, jams and the sort!

When I think of the quote ‘unused creativity metastasizes’, I think of Hazel being a beautiful example of the exact opposite. Being creative is not a hobby; it is a way of life, and certainly a way of life for Hazel. Her suite is filled with artwork, a scrabble board on her kitchen table which she plays every day, knitting baskets around her chair and paint, crayons and pastel chalks hanging about.

Inspiration at its finest.

READ MORE: 98-year-old North Okanagan woman designs clothes for Barbie

This past year has brought its challenges with the pandemic and wildfires.

“It seems that people just don’t come together like they used to in hard times,” Hazel said. “I don’t envy my great-grandchildren and their next hundred years; Mother Nature must be ticked right off at us!”

Hazel celebrated her 100th birthday with family, friends and the staff of Heaton Place.

Surprised at the number of people who came out to help her celebrate she expressed, “I am on top of the world!”

Not all the family could make it out due to the wildfires and the pandemic, but they hope to be reunited at Thanksgiving time for a good ol’, family gathering!

Hazel is one special, humble lady! We are honoured to be a part of her life here at Heaton Place! And as she said in a little thank you speech, “see you all back here, same time next year!”

Happy Birthday, Hazel!

— Carrie O’Neill is the resident relations coordinator at Heaton Place in Armstrong. These are the stories of its residents.

READ MORE: WATCH: Digging into history east of Cherryville

READ MORE: Armstrong resident defies adversity with resilience and determination


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Seniors