Hazel Heckman (1904-2002)

Born in Kansas in 1904, Hazel Heckman came west with her husband, Earle, in the summer of 1946. He had been hired by Atlas Foundary of Tacoma, which happened to own the former Ostling farm on East Oro Bay. The Heckmans quickly succumbed to the charms of Anderson Island, and bought their own place, Bill Baskett's homestead on the east side of the island. When Earle retired, they made their home on the island. Hazel, who had published several articles in national magazines, quickly penned two classic books, "Island in the Sound" and "Island Year". Her keen powers of observation of flora and fauna and of human nature were well applied in capturing the beauty of the island and the wonderful characters who populated it. Many honors came her may, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Puget Sound. Hazel was active in numerous island organizations. She passed away in 2002 at the age of 98.

This Hazel Heckman collection of 'lost' stories and letters has been lovingly collected, resurrected, edited, and digitized by Rick Anderson, AIHS Archives Chairman.


Eulogy (delivered by Rick Anderson at Hazel's Memorial Service, June 27, 2002.)


This is a collection of some of the many unpublished stories that Hazel left behind. (All stories copyright 2023, Anderson Island Historical Society).

Back to the Family
Double Dutch and Die Laughing
The Escapists
The Nutmeg Eater
The Spartan
The Survivor
The Unsilent Night
Wait Up For Annie
Women Must Weep
Zeke Hamblett


Island In The Sound (1968) Available at the AIHS Gift Shop.
Island Year (out of print)


In 1947, Hazel enrolled in the legendary Murray Morgan's writing course at the College of Puget Sound. Thus began a long friendship in which Murray served as a coach, mentor, and advocate for Hazel's writing. As was typical in the days before email and texting, their friendship was reflected in the regular exchange of letters and occasional visits. Although Hazel almost certainly saved Murray's letters to her, they have not yet been found, but Murray's family has generously donated these carefully saved letters Hazel wrote to him. They richly document Hazel's literary career, the importance of Murray's mentorship, and her love for Anderson Island flora, fauna, community, and institutions.
Rick Anderson's Note: Many of these letters are dated simply in the format "Tuesday June 6" or similar. Identification of the year has been possible in most cases, although it was often necessary to approximate the year based on the context.

Download all 167 letters (files) as a single zip file. Then unzip them on your computer to create 167 PDF files.

View the individual letters.

8/10/23 rfb