Hazen Lewis Folse
Hazen Lewis Folse, 86, of Springfield, died peacefully on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, at Memorial Medical Center.
Mrs. Folse was a resident of Springfield for nearly 50 years. She had a fulfilling career as a voice and piano teacher and later as an artist and writer. She was co-chair of Denim and Diamonds, the annual fundraiser of the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU; a former music faculty member of Blackburn College, Carlinville; and a member of The Book Review Club of Springfield, the Springfield Art Association, the Prairie Pastel Society, the Springfield Ceramics & Crafts Club, and PEO. A beloved wife, mother, leader and philanthropist, she raised four children and actively partnered with her husband, Dr. J. Roland Folse, in the early days of developing SIU School of Medicine.
She was born Marion Hazen Lewis in Judsonia, Ark. in 1933 and grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. At 8 years old, Hazen picked up an accordion for the first time. She soon learned to play the piano and organ and sang at public events across her hometown.
She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in music education from Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas, where she met her husband. Later, the newlyweds moved to Baltimore, Md., where she
earned a master’s degree in music from Peabody Conservatory.
In 1961, the couple moved to Bellevue, Wash., where Mrs. Folse raised her family, taught private piano and voice lessons, and directed the local church children’s choirs. A decade later, they settled in Springfield.
In retirement, Mrs. Folse attended art classes and established herself as a pastel artist, involving herself in the local Springfield art community. She also turned to writing and, in 2018, published her memoirs, The Melodies and Canvases of My Life.
Mrs. Folse is survived by Dr. Folse, her husband of 65 years; daughter, Gwendolyn Jensen and husband, Val, of Walnut Creek, Calif.; son, John, Jr. (Jack) Folse and wife, Karen Tisinai, of Terre Haute, Ind.; daughter, Lynn Attig and husband, Bruce, of Redondo Beach, Calif.; son, Richard (Dick) Folse and wife, Vickie, of Bloomington, Ill.; and seven grandchildren, Kate Jensen, Clayton Attig, Mason Folse, Abigail Attig, Kennedy Folse, Lena Folse and Rachel Folse. She is preceded in death by her parents, Elijah C. (Shorty) and Alda Mae Nixon Lewis and her brother, Glenn Nixon Lewis, of Corpus Christi, Texas.
The family will host a memorial service on Monday, September 2, 2019, 11 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 533 S Walnut St., Springfield.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU, 315 W Carpenter St., Springfield, IL 62702.
The family of Hazen Folse is being served by Staab Funeral Home, 1109 South Fifth St., Springfield.
Please visit Staabfuneralhomes.com to offer your condolences.