In Memory of




Obituary for Paul Russell Hazelton

Paul Russell Hazelton
November 6, 1946 – December 25, 2022

It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our loving father, husband, uncle, and pet-grandpa. Paul passed away peacefully with his family by his side on December 25, 2022.

Surviving Paul are his wife Valerie, daughter Melissa (Jonny) and son Robert. He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

Paul was born on November 6, 1946, to Burton and Winifred Hazelton in St. Louis, Missouri. He lived in Missouri until January 30, 1971, when he flew to Canada using the assumed name Richard Winter. This was during the Vietnam War, when many young Americans emigrated to Canada as draft dodgers. Always a man of principle, Paul kept a copy of his “Handbook for Conscientious Objectors” for many years, later gifting it to his daughter Melissa. She keeps it in her office at work to this day.

His first job when he arrived in Canada was in the Eaton’s warehouse, but soon he became involved with the University of Manitoba, joining the AESES Union in January 1972. He began attending classes in 1986, working towards his PhD in Virology, which he earned in 1998. Paul remained involved with AESES throughout, and over the years was involved in negotiations, a strike, and other labour relations matters with the University of Manitoba on behalf of members. He worked as an electron microscopy technician in the Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (MMID) department at the University of Manitoba for over 30 years. Paul also worked with the Cadham Provincial lab doing viral diagnostics, and after his quasi-retirement in 2015 he did contract work with the Cadham Provincial Laboratory until he retired fully in April 2018.

Paul met Valerie through her cousin Maureen, and they were married on July 29, 1978. Before Melissa and Robert were born, they traveled to Spain where Paul bought an acoustic guitar that he would often take out and play over the years that followed. He had a passion for music and that, in part, led to the creation of the Happy Mike’s Coffee House at the St. James Anglican Church, where he was the house manager. Through Happy Mike’s Paul was also heavily involved in the annual “Live Music is Better” fundraiser for Manitoba Harvest and helped to raise a significant amount of money over the 14 years that they ran it. Paul also spearheaded the creation of the summer concert series held at the historic St. James Anglican Church. The St. James Anglican Church meant a lot to Paul, and he was very involved there in many other ways – he was in the church choir, taught Sunday School, served on Vestry, helped coordinate and volunteer at fall suppers and with delivering food from Manitoba Harvest to the Church foodbank.

Paul’s family would like to thank all of the staff at the Grace Hospital, in particular the ICU, for their kind and compassionate care.

A funeral service will be held on January 4, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Neil Bardal Funeral Centre, located at 3030 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In lieu of flowers, Paul’s family asks that you make a donation in his name to the Max Rady College of Medicine, Medical Microbiology Lab Renovations fund ( - search “Max Rady College of Medicine; Microbiology”).