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J. Michael Hazelwood

James Michael Hazelwood, (1946- 2019), known to friends as “Mike,” passed away suddenly on April 16th, 2019, at the age of 72, at his home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Born November 2, 1946 to the late Ruth (Wechter) and Russell Hazelwood, he was raised in Shelby and Painesville, Ohio, and graduated from Harvey High School in 1964.

Mike was a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving in the US Navy from 1965-1969 as a proud member of the United States Naval Construction Battalions, better known as the “Seabees.” After 16 months stationed at Port Heuneme in California, he served two tours of duty near Da Nang, Vietnam, before returning to the States in 1969.

Following his homecoming, Mike’s lifelong affinity for American history led him to pursue a major in secondary education with a concentration in the teaching of history, government, and social studies at Lake Erie College, graduating with his BS in 1974.

He spent many fulfilling years teaching at Shaw High School in East Cleveland, where he was a well loved history teacher, baseball coach, strong union advocate, and the first teacher and co-organizer of Shaw’s pioneering Street Law program. He looked back fondly on these years all of his life.

In 1981 he enrolled at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Admitted to the bar in 1983, he launched what would be a successful career of nearly 40 years as a real estate, commercial, bankruptcy, small business and family attorney.

Mike was a committed long distance runner, completing many marathons, including a few 50-miler ultra marathons over the years, and keeping careful daily running logs for decades. He was a voracious reader and an unconditional lover of rascally dogs. He kept closely abreast of world news, had a keen commitment to social justice, and was an avid Ohio State Buckeyes fan. He loved his family fiercely, his many friends loyally, and always enjoyed a cookout, a day at the beach, a Willie Nelson song, a cold brew and a good game.

Michael is the dearly loved father of Heather (Gerry Porter), Rachel (Jeff Rumplik), Holly, and Sarah, grandfather of Colten and Dylan Michael. He leaves behind his sister Vicki Fields, brother Daniel, niece Megan (Travis) Miller, former wives Kelly (nee Burns) and Candice (nee Curschman), and a host of cherished relatives, friends, students, and colleagues.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Rumwood Farm, 15159 Russell Road, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, 44022, on Sunday, May 26th, 2019 at 5pm.

Memorial Donations may be made to Geauga Rescue Village, 15463 Chillicothe Rd., Russell Twp., OH 44072.

Arrangements entrusted to DeJOHN-FLYNN-MYLOTT FUNERAL HOME OF SOUTH EUCLID.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Rachel and Heather, I am so sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of sitting in your dad’s living room, in 9th grade, and watching/singing the Little Mermaid movie. Celebrating his life is such a wonderful plan.

  2. My heart and prayers go to the family of Mike. Mike was my cousin. RIP

  3. Holly Hazelwood

    I will miss my Dad so much. I have an amazing work ethic, pretty good grammar, am all about justice and social justice, support a clean environment, a few of my best qualities- things I got from him. He was the best dad in the world.

  4. So sorry to lose the “bubbster”, lots of memories, some better than others but in our thoughts and prayers

  5. My sympathies to this family and especially Vicki who I have known over 50 years. Sounds like he loved and lived his life. This is a beautiful obituary written of his life and many memories to those left behind. God bless this family with many memories and prayers. Carol Banker

  6. Heather, Rachel, Holly, Sara and Candi – My deepest sympathies. Mike was truly a good man and a dear friend. I’ll always have fond memories of the many miles we put in together.

    Ron B

  7. Greg & Gerry Szuter

    Candi Heather Rachel Holly Sarah
    I never met another lawyer who was truly motivated to help people, even the least able to help themselves. Lots talk the line but you could see Mike meant it. He was an engaging, decent, bright, and really good man and friend even with that rascally crust that made him as endearing as those dogs were to him.

  8. Gwynne Dansby Clarke

    Mr Hazelwood was one of my favorite teachers at Shaw High School. He was a kind man. My condolences and prayers are with your today.

  9. Yvonne Barney (Bishop)

    Sending my condolences to the family!
    I was a graduate of Shawn 1976!!

  10. Carole Davignon

    My dear friend for over 40 years! Hubby and I loved mike. He was good people.

  11. My sincere condolences. Remember him well, as a kind and caring person. I’m sure he will be missed by his family, friends and everyone he touched. RIP

  12. Many pre-dawn runs & Sunday morning “schvitz&grits” longer runs with Mike’s buddies, the Dead Goose Runners… solving the world’s & each others’ problems… wonderful memories of a great guy… my most sincere condolences accompany my appreciation for the memories of our running days…
    Bill Seitz

  13. Simone Nenadovic

    I am so sad to hear about mike passing as well as shocked. I just spoke to him April 14th. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. He loved his family very much as well as his dog/dogs. He will be missed terribly.

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